The Champaign-Urbana Computer Users Group

The Status Register - December, 2002


This newsletter will never appear on CUCUG.ORG before the monthly CUCUG meeting it is intended to announce. This is in deference to actual CUCUG members. They get each edition hot off the presses. If you'd like to join our group, you can get the pertinent facts by looking in the "Information About CUCUG" page. If you'd care to look at prior editions of the newsletter, they may be found via the Status Register Newsletter page.
News     Common     PC     Mac     Amiga     CUCUG

December 2002


To move quickly to an article of your choice, use the search feature of your reader or the hypertext directory above. Enjoy.

December News:

The December Meeting

The next CUCUG meeting will be held on our regular third Thursday of the month: Thursday, December 19th, at 7:00 pm, at the Illinois Technology Center. The Linux SIG convenes, of course, one hour earlier, at 6:00 pm. Directions to the ITC are at the end of this newsletter.

The December 19 gathering will be our Annual meetings. We will be electing officers for next year and sharing a doughnut or two.

ToC

CUCUG Membership Renewal

It's that time of year again to renew your membership in CUCUG. We rely on our members and their talents for our strength and vitality. You can renew at the December meeting with Treasurer Richard Hall or through the mail at our P.O. Box address. We sincerely hope to have you with us in the new year.

ToC

Current Slate of Candidates

These are the gentlemen who have been officially nominated for re-election.

   President:              (open)               (-----)

   Vice-President:         Emil Cobb            (e-cobb@uiuc.edu)

   Secretary:              Kevin Hopkins        (kh2@uiuc.edu)

   Treasurer:              Richard Hall         (rjhall1@uiuc.edu)

   Corporate Agent:        Kevin Hisel  

ToC

Common Ground:

HANDS ON: The Tungsten T

Friday, November 01, 2002 - 8:17 AM PST
URL: http://www.pdabuzz.com/News/viewnews.cgi?newsid1035782705,4045,
submitted by Emil Cobb

Now that the lid is off, we can admit that yes, we've had the Tungsten T for about a week. And while it wasn't the first Palm OS5 device to be announced--that honor goes to the Sony NX70--this is the first fully-functional, production-ready OS 5 device to arrive in our offices. The Tungsten T won't have that same paradigm-shifting impact as the original PalmPilot did in 1995, but it will surely be this year’s handheld status symbol among mobile executives. Bottom line: We like it a lot better than we expected to, and declare it the best Palm-branded PDA ever.

The newest Palm is remarkable for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it runs OS 5, the next-generation operating system that finally allows Palm PDAs to embrace high-speed ARM-compliant CPUs. The Tungsten T is powered by a 144-MHz TI OMAP1510 processor and includes 16MB of SDRAM (plus an SDIO-compliant expansion slot), as well as integrated Bluetooth networking. Many people want to know if a Palm really needs 144-MHz of horsepower. Despite the incoherent ramblings of naysayers like fellow editor Rick Broida, the answer is: Absolutely. Traditionally sluggish applications--like the SilverScreen program launcher--snapped on-screen instantly without any hesitation whatsoever. ARM allows Palm OS developers to release bigger, more complex applications, and that's a good thing indeed. Even six times the processing power can't speed up memory card access, though; we still waited while some applications, like QuickOffice, read long text and spreadsheet documents from external memory.

Thanks to a component in OS 5 called PACE (Palm Application Compatibility Environment), the Tungsten T runs virtually all of the legacy applications in the Palm library. In general, we found that it ran applications without a hitch, though a couple of graphically intensive apps failed (we suspect they broke Palm’s programming rules) and occasionally we saw momentary application failure messages, generally when switching between apps. Though disconcerting, those seeming incompatibilities with OS 5 never appeared to affect the Tungsten or its stability in any way.

Palm has always had trouble making great screens, but this one is the company’s best ever. It boasts 320x320 pixels (four times the resolution of original Palm devices) and 65,000 colors. We compared the Tungsten T to a slew of other color Palm OS screens from Handspring, Palm, and Sony. The Tungsten display is dramatically brighter and more vivid than any but the Sony NR70's. And while the Sony has richer, more accurate color, the Tungsten T has a brighter screen with a more paper-white background--just the ticket for aging eyeballs.

As with the Sharp Zaurus, Palm designed the front panel of the Tungsten T to slide, making it something akin to a convertible. When open, the unit is 4.8 inches long. Slide it closed to cover the Graffiti writing area, though, and it shrinks to 4 inches exactly. That makes a big difference in your pocket, but the style factor is arguably even more important--after all, if pocket bulge were an overriding concern to Palm engineers, the Tungsten T would not be over a half-inch thick. We were initially dubious of the slide, expecting it to be wobbly, loose, or a maintenance nightmare. But after working with the handheld we changed our minds--it has a solid, rugged feel, and you can configure it to automatically turn on when the slider opens.

The only downside of covering the Graffiti area? That's not all you're covering. We love shrinking the device when using the device passively, like when reading HandStory clips, but we found that we frequently had to open the slider just to tap the application button and change apps. Eventually, we remapped one of the four quick-access buttons to the application launcher, and things worked much more smoothly.

The Tungsten T has a four-way rocker with a push button in the middle -the Navigator. Reminiscent of virtually any Pocket PC’s navigation pad, it’s suitable for navigation and games, though many legacy apps don't know it exists. This is also the first model from Palm to include a digital voice recorder, easily accessed from a button on the side of the case. The microphone is adequate for voice memos, and notes can be renamed or stored chronologically, and HotSync'd back to a slightly-revised Palm Desktop.

This is great stuff, but it's a plethora of little touches that demonstrate Palm has learned valuable lessons about the PDA format in the last few years. At long last, we have a reset button that doesn't require you to find a paper clip or disassemble the stylus; the stylus tip fits in the recess. A clear plastic cover protects the screen but has cutouts that let you access the PDA’s controls, great for quickly checking your schedule or viewing a contact while on the run. The cover also snaps onto the back of the PDA when you need to work. Tap the Navigator button to see the time in up to three time zones, and the Tungsten T turns itself off a few seconds later. And while OS 5 is essentially the same as its predecessors, Palm radically improved the only element of the operating system that confused most people: the Prefs application. It’s now much easier to find and change system settings.

The Tungsten T uses Palm’s universal connector and, in fact, comes with a standard m-series USB cradle. The PDA’s integrated Lithium-Polymer battery appears to have about the same runtime as an m515--a few days of frequent use. The CD-ROM features a generous software bundle that includes Document to Go Professional, ArcSoft PhotoBase, Bluetooth utilities, and games.

The last major innovation in the Tungsten T is Bluetooth, which delivers on Palm’s years-old promise of integrating the wireless technology. But Bluetooth configuration still needs some streamlining if it’s going to catch on beyond the tech savvy crowd. To configure a connection like a Bluetooth access point for your office LAN, we needed to visit three different areas of Prefs: the Bluetooth settings, Connection options, and Network setup. Nor was it always obvious what we had to do to get everything working--Palm offers no help in configuring your Tungsten for a LAN-based Bluetooth HotSync, for instance. If companies like Palm want Bluetooth to succeed, they need to go the extra mile to ensure that the most common tasks--like phone dialing, HotSyncs, and LAN access--are painless for most users right out of the box. Once operational, the Tungsten T’s Bluetooth worked like a charm. Palm supplies VersaMail, a multi-POP3 e-mail client that lets you view attachments like Word and images. And thanks to built-in SSL security, Java support, and smart resizing of graphics, the new-for-OS 5 Palm Web Browser is able to function like a standard desktop browser. The only thing it lacks is the ability to download and install Palm applications while on the go.

The bottom line is that the Tungsten T is the most innovative, useful new Palm since the old Palm V. It is more than just a beauty, though--it has the capabilities and simple elegance that will make it a winner with tech-savvy executives. The Tungsten T will be available for $499 and is the very definition of a Handheld Computing Top Pick.

ToC

Spam to overtake real e-mail in 2003

Antivirus firm annual report paints bleak picture

By Bob Sullivan, MSNBC

Dec. 11 ÷ Some time next year, there will be more spam than real e-mail floating around the Internet. That"s the conclusion drawn from annual statistics gathered by British e-mail filtering firm MessageLabs, which on Wednesday delivered disheartening news to e-mail users ÷ delivery of unsolicited e-mail rose sharply in the second half of this year. The annual report also revealed that one in every 212 e-mails contained a computer virus.

MESSAGELABS SOFTWARE sorts through 10 million e-mails a day, filtering each note sent to one of its clients before sending it along to its rightful recipient. That means the firm inspects over 3 billion e-mails a year, making MessageLabs a popular source of virus and spam research data.

And according to MessageLabs Chief Technology Officer Mark Sunner, the data shows clearly that spammers are currently getting much better at what they do. For the entire year, an average of 1 in 12 e-mails were spam; but that number increased steadily in the past months. And by November, 1 in three e-mails were spam. Because of that trend, the company predicted that during 2003, spam will overtake real e-mail.

Sunner blamed the recent increase on technology improvement which make spammersâ work easier.

"What could be behind (the increase) is the amount of tools and appliances available now to these companies. You can buy e-mail appliance boxes which will ship millions of e-mails in an hour" he said.

MessageLabs release might seem to contradict a report issued earlier this week by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, which concluded that most Americans donât have a problem with spam at work. But the two studies measure different things, so they are not necessarily contradictory. The Pew report suggests that American workers only spend a few minutes a day dealing with spam ÷ in large part because spam aimed at office workers is stopped by various technologies, like the MessageLabs service.

Still, with some 30 percent of all e-mail being ărubbish of one kind or anotherä ÷ spam, viruses, or pornography ÷ technology workers are engaged in a difficult fight to keep e-mail users from becoming overwhelmed.

"There is very much an arms race between people that are trying to get this stuff out there and people trying to prevent it," he said.

STAYING POWER

Another disturbing trend in 2002 ÷ computer viruses that wouldn't go away. The Klez virus, which was introduced with little fanfare in the early part of this year, remains the worldâs most pesky computer bug. MessageLabs has now trapped 5 million copies of it, and it shows little signs of slowing down. In November, 423,000 copies of Klez were found. That compares to high-profile viruses like the LoveBug or the Anna Kournikova virus, which swept the globe quickly, but generally died down after a few weeks.

Klez is hard to spot because it arrives with randomly chosen subject lines and message body text.

Other viruses also proved to have staying power. Yaha, discovered in June, is still the worldâs second-most common bug.

VIRUS-LIKE SPAM

Sunner also said spam and computer viruses are beginning to merge, with commercial e-mail solicitations now arriving with virus-like characteristics. "Friendgreeting" released in October, claims to be a harmless electronic greeting card ÷ but instead, it sends copies of itself to everyone in the recipientâs e-mail address book.

There's also been a large uptick in spam "spoofing" when a commercial e- mail solicitor pretends to send a note from an innocent third party in an attempt to trick the recipient into opening the advertisement. Internet users who've received angry messages from someone saying ăstop sending me these e-mails,ä know how frustrating that can be to both victims. And the bad news is, thereâs not a lot people can do to prevent a spammer from picking up their e-mail address and putting it in the "From"field of a spam message,

"In terms of spoofing there isn't a lot you personally can do to stop someone," Sunner said. "It's an inherent weaknesses in e-mai."

Expect more greeting cards, spoofing, and other virus-like tactics in 2003, the MessageLabs report says.

ToC

SpamPal Identifies Spam and Lets you Kill It

by Kevin Hisel

There is much to like about computing and plenty to hate. I guess the thing I like most is that much of what is available in the computing community is FREE and free software tops my list. As you all probably know, I am a great lover of well-written freeware utilities.

On the other side of the spectrum, I'm guessing one of the most universally detested things about computing is "spam" or unsolicited commercial e-mail. If you have an e-mail account, you have undoubtedly seen way too much spam.

So, when I came across SpamPal (http://www.spampal.org.uk/) I was intrigued. Hmmm, a FREE program that promises to help me kill spam forever! I had to take a look. Here's what I found:

SpamPal is a very nicely written program for Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000 or XP that identifies spam before it reaches your e-mail client. It acts like a separate POP3 mail server and downloads mail from your ISP's server and notes the IP address of the machine that originally sent the e-mail. It then compares that address to a customizable series of publicly accessible spam databases on the Internet. If the originating IP address of the e-mail matches a known spam-producing machine, it flags the e-mail as spam by inserting a custom phrase (the default is "**SPAM**") into the subject line of the e-mail. It then passes the message off to your usual e- mail client.

The suspected spam messages will be very obvious to you when you read your mail headers. The real beauty of SpamPal is that most mail clients allow you to set up rules and automatically dispose of the offending messages in a number of ways. I've set up my mail client to detect the spam string "**SPAM**" and copy the message to a folder called "Junk Mail". I never even have to see these messages unless I look in the Junk Mail folder and review them from time to time.

SpamPal works with just about all POP3 mail clients including Outlook/Outlook Express, Eudora, Pegasus, Netscape/Mozilla, Opera and others. It does not support proprietary e-mail services like AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo and MSN. SpamPal allows you to continue to use e-mail virus checkers like Norton Anti-virus and AVG.

Setting up your e-mail program to access SpamPal is very easy. Just change your POP3 host to "localhost" and add and at-sign ("@") and your POP3 server's name to the user name field.

For example, this:

POP3 Server: mail.yourprovider.net
Username: yourlogin

Becomes

POP3 Server: localhost
Username: yourlogin@mail.yourprovider.net

That's all you need to do to put SpamPal to work for you.

There are many configuration options to choose from, although the defaults seemed to work just fine for me. There is even an option to run SpamPal on another machine on your network if you don't want yet another program running all the time on your main machine. This is the option I chose.

How good is it at catching spam? So far, SpamPal has identified all my spam with 100% accuracy! Apparently these spam databases are pretty good and are updated constantly throughout the day as spammers find new machines to use for their dirty deeds. I have had very few false positives- -a problem normally seen by spam filters which rely on content and/or key- word filtering. If you do have some false positives, SpamPal includes an option to allow all mail from certain e-mail addresses to pass through untouched. It can even automatically identify mail that should be in this list.

SpamPal is written and supported by James Farmer from the UK. Read more information and download this wonderful, free utility from:

http://www.spampal.org.uk/

ToC

Fast Times for Microsoft's Home Products

Wed Dec 11, 8:00 PM ET
Peggy Watt, PCWorld.com

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIFORNIA--Microsoft flew into the consumer products market with Flight Simulator 20 years ago. Today, the division behind that title and its many offspring has reached $1 billion in annual sales, making it the fourth-largest revenue producer at Microsoft behind such monsters as Windows and Office.

Flight Simulator itself has spawned Flight Simulator Combat and numerous upgrades. An ongoing priority is to retain the attention to detail that caught the interest of armchair pilots in 1982, said Lisa Brummel, corporate vice president of Microsoft's home and retail products division.

Who would have guessed? Not Microsoft, which wasn't sure what home PC users wanted back then, Brummel recalled.

"Bill [Gates] kept saying we had to be in this market," she said, describing the challenge of figuring out what people might do with PCs besides bringing their work home. The quest prompted continuing research and investment, dozens of successes that remain on the market today, and some less successful products--like Microsoft Bob, a graphical buddy that never caught on except as a punch line.

Brummel reviewed the home division's evolution and offered a peek at upcoming products at the company's Silicon Valley Speaker Series event here Wednesday.

Early Hits Still Here

Some of those earliest products are keepers. Microsoft Encarta, introduced in 1995, has blossomed with online and CD-ROM components. Sports products like Golf and Baseball have endured. Microsoft introduced its first mouse in 1983 and continues to market an array of input devices.

Best-sellers include Flight Simulator and Age of Empires, a real-time strategy game. This season, Microsoft has introduced a companion game, Age of Mythology. The same division markets mice, keyboards, and the Microsoft Home Networking Kit, introduced this year and already one of the division's top sellers.

Encarta encapsulates the ongoing goal of looking at familiar resources in a new way, Brummel said. People understood the concept of an encyclopedia, but they regarded it a set of static books used for school research. Technology has upgraded the encyclopedia to become a more easily updated multimedia resource. "We took advantage of technology and made something that is compelling and better," she said.

That's the clue to what's next from Microsoft's consumer division. Home broadband is growing, so Microsoft has launched Xbox (news - web sites) Live, offering multiuser online games. Digital cameras are among the hottest sellers of the year, so Microsoft has released a new version of its photo-editing software, Picture It Digital Image Pro, with advanced functions that pick up where bundled software leaves off.

What's Next?

"Broadband has changed the home," said Brummel, who expects to produce more multiuser games and real-time play that combines local and online elements, like the Asheron's Call series. "You'll see our games evolve. Broadband is one of the key areas that will allow us to innovate in the future."

New versions of Money and Encarta are scheduled to ship in 2003, as are upgrades to Microsoft's Macintosh (news - web sites) applications. A new title, Impossible Creatures, will join the selection of fantasy-themed software.

Hardware products, which make up about half of the Home and Retail Division wares, are also evolving.

"We'll continue our innovation in mice and keyboards," Brummel said, pointing to such input devices as those with an ergonomic focus and various wireless devices. At Comdex (news - web sites), Microsoft showed a Bluetooth keyboard. On deck are devices that support biometric functions, both for security purposes and for ease of use.

Familiar Flops

Microsoft has also learned from its failures--and its biggest lesson is that the home is decidedly different from the workplace, Brummel said.

Bob is the most famous flop, but Brummel also cited the Actimates, a combination of software and talking plush toy--from Barney to the Teletubbies--that proved to be an ill-starred venture into an unfamiliar market. "Consumers said, 'You are not a toy company.' They didn't fit with what consumes expected from Microsoft."

Still, some partnerships in unfamiliar fields produced successes, such as the pairing with Scholastic for the Magic School Bus series. Consequently, Microsoft continues to seek new shared ventures, Brummel said.

Microsoft also abandoned a brief venture into running a retail store. One operated for about two years at the Metreon in San Francisco. "Our strength is not in running a retail shop, although it is certainly in participating in the retail environment," Brummel said.

Still Learning

The company has learned that consumer products carry a different price tag. Business software sales trends don't mirror home budgets, Brummel said.

"We didn't understand that--if there was a $29 product and a $49 product and the $49 was way, way better--people would still buy the $29 product," Brummel said. "We learned to produce $29 products. Good thing, too, because today they're at $19."

Nor are consumers willing to spend 3 hours learning to use, say, a spreadsheet, she noted.

Today's primary products include education, reference, personal finance, and digital imaging software, games, and hardware entries.

"It's been a great 20 years," Brummel said. "I'm looking forward to the next hard bets we'll make and seeing whether they make it in the marketplace."

ToC

The PC Section:

WinSIG News

from Kevin Hisel

The December meeting of the Windows SIG will be a good one since one lucky SIG member will walk away as the new proud owner of Microsoft's Picture It! Digital Image Pro 7. Digital Image Pro 7 puts you in control of your photos through a unique combination of powerful digital imaging tools with helpful wizards and professional-quality photo projects. Picture It! offers advanced tools that let you make your digital pictures look the way you want them to. Choose from over 3,000 professional photo projects or a wide variety of special effects to enhance your photos for sharing through prints, email, and the Web.

Features:

You must be present to win, so don't miss this month's meeting!

ToC

Intel said to allow overclocking on new own-brand boards

Charles Chou, Taipei; Christy Lee, DigiTimes.com
[Thursday 5 December 2002]

Intel is reportedly planning to offer limited overclocking functions on its own-brand motherboards for the upcoming Canterwood and Springdale platforms, a slight change from the chipmakerâs previous firm policy against overclocking.

According to sources, to enhance its competitiveness in the clone market, Intel has decided to allow users to adjust voltage and memory module transmission frequency on its own-brand Canterwood and Springdale boards, which are expected to be launched in the second quarter of 2003.

The move is regarded as yet another strategy by Intel to expand into the clone sector, a stronghold of rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), motherboard makers noted. Earlier, the chipmaker surprisingly changed its Springdale chipset specifications from the original 677MHz FSB (front-side bus) speed and dual-channel DDR333 memory architecture to an 800MHz FSB and dual-channel DDR400. AMDâs forthcoming K8 processors support an 800MHz FSB as well.

In addition to the Springdale updates, Intel has also pulled its workstation-use Canterwood chipsets into its desktop portfolio, appearing to try to attract more power users with products of greater performance, board makers said.

Supplied mainly to fulfill OEM orders, Intelâs own-brand boards usually feature more mature, mainstream specifications. As a result, although its monthly output is almost as great as Taiwanâs first-tier makers and its product price is also very competitive, Intelâs own-brand motherboard business has not put much pressure on Taiwanese players in the more performance-sensitive clone sector.

Besides strengthening its operation in the clone sector, Intelâs new product approach is also believed to be a safeguard measure for its processor sales, as its standard changes in Springdale chipsets may prevent some less-resourceful motherboard makers from introducing supporting products in time next year.

ToC

The Macintosh Section:

IBM "AltiVec"

From www.macnn.com on December 13
URL: http://www.macnn.com/news.php?id=17708
Submitted by John Melby

IBM confirmed that its PowerPC 970 processor, which is scheduled to begin shipping in the second half of 2003, has AltiVec-compatible execution units, as noted by a MacNN reader: "The 970's multiple execution units including an AltiVec compatible vector processor are fed by an up to 900-MHz processor interface bus, which can deliver data at a rate of up to 6.4 GBps...In addition to high performance general -purpose processing, application-specific acceleration (such as multimedia) can be achieved through the AltiVec vector engine. Co-developed by IBM, this engine extends the PowerPC instruction set with 162 Single-Instruction, Multiple Data (SIMD) instructions."

ToC

Some Macs to Boot Mac OS 9 Through Mid-2003?

TidBITS#660/16-Dec-02

Although Apple has not yet made a public statement, it seems some Macs that can boot into Mac OS 9 may remain available until mid-2003, contrary to Apple's announcement in September that new Macs would stop being able to boot Mac OS 9 in January of 2003.

http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2002/sep/10macosx.html

According to News.com and MacCentral, Apple claims the move is for education users, who ostensibly are taking longer to move to Mac OS X than "the rest of us." Thus, Mac OS 9-capable Macs will reportedly include CRT-based iMacs, the eMac, and the iBook. It's not clear whether these systems will be available to the general public or just to education customers. However, Apple apparently also plans to continue selling a dual 1.25 GHz Power Mac G4 configuration which can boot into Mac OS 9 for professionals who need applications like QuarkXPress which aren't yet available for Mac OS X. (TidBITS confirmed that Quark has contacted some of its customers to inform them machines capable of booting Mac OS 9 will be available through mid-2003.) This high-end configuration is also of interest to music and audio professionals, most of whom have been unable to move to Mac OS X due to lack of drivers and host applications. [GD]

http://maccentral.macworld.com/news/0212/13.boot.php
http://news.com.com/2100-1040-977881.html

ToC

Film Gimp available for Mac OS X

From www.macnn.com on December 13
URL: http://www.macnn.com/news.php?id=17706
Submitted by John Melby

Film Gimp

http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/filmgimp/MacFilmGimp-0.10-3.dmg.gz?download

is a motion picture editing tool primarily used for painting and retouching of movie images: "Its application in feature movie productions includes the movies Scooby-Doo, Harry Potter, Stuart Little and Stuart Little 2. Film Gimp is the most successful open source tool in feature motion picture work today. [It] is based on Gimp, the GNU Image Manipulation Program."

ToC

Mac Loyalists: Don't Tread on Us

By Leander Kahney

Story location: http://www.wired.com/news/mac/0,2125,56575,00.html

02:00 AM Dec. 02, 2002 PT

There are 25 million people around the world who use Macintosh computers, according to Apple. But unlike ordinary personal computers, people don't simply use Macs, they become fans. They develop a passion for the machines, which can sometimes turn into an obsession.

"Apple is like a strange drug that you just can't quite get enough of," the musician Barry Adamson told the Guardian newspaper. "They shouldn't call it Mac. They should call it crack!"

Mac loyalty is so well-known, it's a clichŽ. Mac users are routinely referred to as Apple's faithful, Mac zealots, members of the cult of Mac, Appleholics, Macheads, Maccies, Macolytes and Mac addicts. The biannual Macworld conference is often compared to a religious revival meeting, where Steve Jobs is worshipped like a rock star, or a charismatic cult leader.

The Mac community is arguably the largest subculture in computing. Mac enthusiasts -- as a group -- are probably more loyal, more dedicated than users of any other computer, perhaps even Linux. Linux and Unix users are, in fact, switching to Macs in droves.

What other computer inspires fans to get tattoos, personalized license plates, amass huge collections of ancient machines, build Mac aquariums, or proudly describe themselves as Mac fans, Mac freaks, Mac nuts? The Amiga, perhaps, but certainly not Dell, Compaq or Microsoft.

What makes Mac users so loyal?

The answer, of course, depends on who is asked: Marketers say it's the brand, psychologists say it's a social relationship, and Apple loyalists say it's the merits of the machine, its friendliness, its simplicity.

But some common themes emerge: community, the alternative to Microsoft, and the brand, which connotes nonconformity, liberty and creativity.

Mac users are not merely an ad hoc group of people who happen to use the same kind of computer. They represent a distinct subculture, with its own rituals, traditions and mindset.

"If you see somebody in an airport in London, or someplace down in Peru or something, and you see an Apple tag on their bag, or an Apple T-shirt, it's like the Deadheads É you have an instant friend," Chris Espinosa, one of Apple's earliest employees, told Stanford Library. "Most likely, you share something very core to your being with this person, which is a life outlook, a special vision."

One of the defining characteristics of the Mac community is its loyalty to Apple. Through thick and thin, Apple's customers stick by the company. This summer, Apple upset the Mac community by suddenly announcing a $100 annual subscription fee for its .Mac online services, which were formerly free. On top of this, an upgrade to OS X -- the kind of upgrade users usually don't pay for -- would cost $130.

The new pricing policies prompted howls of protest. Websites, online forums and news stories were full of acrimonious kvetching about "gouging" and "bait-and-switch." Long-time users launched petitions, fired off angry letters and for the first time in years, there were lots of threats to leave the Mac platform altogether.

But despite the howling, there's been no mass exodus to Windows. The opposite, in fact, seems to be true. Anecdotal evidence points to more and more people switching to the Mac.

Could other companies get away with this? Probably not. Yahoo and Hotmail, which provide free online e-mail, have started charging for extra services, but supply basic service for nothing. Likewise, Microsoft's latest update for Windows XP is free.

Andrew Lackey, a visiting professor of business and economics journalism at Boston University, said Apple's monopoly in the Mac business allows it to get away with things companies in a competitive market can't.

"With Apple you're a captive, and to some extent they abuse that privilege," Lackey said. "I would have thought Apple would be all folksy, like a Ben & Jerry's kind of company. But in my experience, PC companies are much more responsive."

The loyalty to Apple has led some to describe the Mac community as masochistic, the "punish me harder" brigade in the words of the Register.

"They eat it up," said Matthew Rothenberg, an editor at Ziff Davis and a longtime Apple watcher. "It's like a B&D (bondage and dominance) relationship. There needs to a psychosexual analysis of the Mac community."

Customer loyalty was the only thing that saved Apple during the late 1990s, when the company was in danger of going out of business, according to Gil Amelio, the CEO in charge at the time.

"It's the cult," Amelio told Computerworld. "It's what's kept the damn thing afloat through some of the most incredibly bad business decisions I've ever seen anywhere."

During this time, psychologist Ross Goldstein was commissioned by a rival computer manufacturer to figure out how to appeal to marooned Apple customers if the company went under.

Goldstein, a clinical psychologist with the B/R/S Group, a market research firm, recruited a number of Apple users for a focus group. To qualify, they had to agree they would consider migrating to Windows if Apple went out of business. But as soon as the session started, they all reversed themselves and said they'd never consider switching.

"They were steadfast in their resistance to moving over," Goldstein said. "It was humorous. They were picked because they might switch, but they all said, 'I'll be an Apple user until my dying keystrokes.' The degree of loyalty to the platform, and everything it represented, was so profound. It was fascinating."

Goldstein said participants' left brain, the logical side, was telling them they might have to switch if Apple went under. But the right brain, the emotional attachment to Apple, rejected it. There was a profound sense that Apple was one of them -- counterculture, grassroots, human, approachable, Goldstein said.

"Apple really appeals to the humanistic side of people," Goldstein said. "The image of the brand, the heritage, the experience. It really spoke to who they were."

By contrast, Microsoft was the dark enemy. "It was almost as though they were prisoners of war," Goldstein said. "Microsoft had taken over the computer world and they might have to go over, but they would not do so willingly."

As Goldstein discovered, for a lot of Mac fans, one of the major appeals of Apple is that it's not Microsoft.

To Mac users, Apple represents everything that Microsoft isn't. Apple innovates; Microsoft copies. Apple puts out solid products; Microsoft puts out buggy ones. Apple represents creativity and individuality; Microsoft represents business and conformity. Apple is the scrappy underdog; Microsoft the big, predatory monopoly.

Such is Mac users' derision, Microsoft is commonly referred to as Micro$oft, Microshaft or Microshit. Bill Gates, of course, is the antichrist. There's the common perception that Gates is in business for every penny he can get, while Apple exists to create great technology -- to change the world, in Steve Jobs' words. For Apple, turning a profit is secondary.

"There's a lot of ill will towards Microsoft for a lot of reasons," said Steve Manning, co-founder of Igor, a brand consultancy in San Francisco, California.

"Microsoft crams a bad system down peoples' throats. It's the evil empire, big brother, a monolithic corporation. Apple has done a lot of things right in the way they position themselves and the way they speak to the world." Manning said that while he's obliged to use a Windows machine at work, he went out and bought several Macs for his home.

Like a lot of Mac fans, he enjoys the feeling that he's in control of his computer, rather than Microsoft.

"At home, its nice to use a machine that the corporation can't force you to use," he said. "It's mine. It's personal. This is mine and you can't taint it."

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Switching...

Submitted by Wayne Hamilton

This was forwarded to me, and I thought other CUCUG folks might like it...

http://uploads.newgrounds.com/68000/68643_sw_switch.swf

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The Amiga Section:

Executive Update - November 2, 2002

by Bill McEwen

Greetings One and All:

What a great weekend is in store for Amiga and those attending the World of Amiga, and for those of you not attending I am sure that you will be pleased with the progress that we have made as a company towards shipping new products.

As you may remember from our last update we have broken up the company into two separate units. We have the desktop team focusing their attention on the AmigaOne and OS 4.0, and we have the Mobile Team who is focusing their attention on Amiga Anywhere and the content creation and distribution on the various products and platforms that we support.

These changes and the amazing hard work is now ready to be shown and announced to all of you. Not only are you going to see new products, but we have been able to sign up some pretty heavy hitters with regards to new distribution and new retail availability of these new products.

The Desktop team is focused on new products and services for the Amiga community, and the Mobile team is focused on products and services that are for the extended Amiga community, with our initial offerings targeted at the Pocket PC, Pocket PC Phone Edition, and the SmartPhone. Our first customer for the SmartPhone was announced with Sendo as our partner for their Z100 phone, and now you will read about our next offering for PocketPC and PocketPC phone edition below.

Now we can begin the transformation from a development company to a company shipping products that you are able to go out and purchase for yourselves.

With the above mentioned, here we go:

1. The office is moving and we will have the new address, and contact information up in the next week. So there is no need to worry about what is happening with the office, the change has been good for us. We needed to move into an area that is closer to the services and to the companies that we are working with.

2. AmigaOne is ready to fly, and I have attached the news from Eyetech here with this update. {See below for stories on AmigaOne. Brad} So congratulations to all and the community for your new Amiga hardware.

3. OS 4.0 is almost complete, and the Hyperion team is working very hard to get everything ready. They were delayed by having to complete some low-level work on the AmigaOne, and with their work completed they are ready to crank out the last remaining bit of work to provide a stellar achievement and package.

4. There will be some announcements coming in the next couple of weeks from third parties who are now creating versions of their software for OS 4.0 and I have agreed not to steal their thunder but will have them make their own announcements first and then we will carry them on our site after they have made them.

5. Amiga Games Pocket Paks will be available around the Thanksgiving holidays through several resellers in the US and in England, including CompUSA and mmO2 in England. Yes, what you are reading is correct. Amiga Games Pocket Paks volumes one and two will be shipping and ready this year at 29.95 each from several authorized retailers in the US and through mmO2 retail locations in England. These Pocket Paks include 4 game titles each, and we have two more packs following. This is great news as thousands of new customers here and in England are going to be able to experience Amiga Content on their Pocket PC, and Pocket PC Phone Edition devices.

6. Amiga is also making available for release before Christmas Amiga SmartPhone Packs. These will be similar to the Pocket Paks, but targeted for the new SmartPhones coming out this year. As you know they will run on the new Sendo Z100, and they will be available for the new phones being offered by Orange also.

There are several more product announcements and partnerships coming in the next few weeks, but as mentioned before until it is real and ready, we will wait. So some very big news with the readiness of the AmigaOne and OS 4.0 within the last 10% of completion, and the availability of Amiga content being sold through National retailers in the US and England, I would have to say that we have been very busy indeed.

So again I thank you for your patience and support, and now the next steps in our development begins. The transformation from development of products to shipment of products, has begun. I am really looking forward to the next grouping of announcements, and product shipments.

Keeping the faith, and keeping it moving forward,

Bill McEwen and the rest of the Amiga Team

http://www.amiga.com/

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Letting The World Know !

November 19, 2002 - With the AmigaOne now shipping and AmigaOS4.0 in its final stages of development and testing, the time has come to begin letting the rest of the world know the good news, that the Amiga is alive, well and ready to let the World have fun with computing again.

We all know that the current hard core of Amiga users is not enough to build a sustainable and thriving community. We have to appeal to those who, for whatever reason left the Amiga months and years ago but who still retain a fondness for their old platform. Whether disillusioned with their existing offering, looking for a new way or simply wanting to return, the marketing for the reborn Amiga must concentrate itself on these people, the five million or so who once owned an Amiga and who could do so once more.

The last six months has seen us experimenting with presence at various multi-format shows and nurturing relationships with TV, web and paper publications in order to test the waters and to set out our stall for the big push forwards. Even in this informal process, the response has been fantastic, whether in the US, the UK, Europe or Australia. People remember the Amiga and want it back.

We have taken all this research and, in conjunction with Amiga developers, retailers, user groups, publications, Amiga Inc, Eyetech and Hyperion have decided that we will concentrate on four official large scale multi-format shows around the globe, in order to maximize our presence, message and exposure. This will compromise a show roughly every quarter, one for Europe, one for the US and Canada, one for the UK and one for the Antipodes (Australia, New Zealand and Asia).

The first of these shows will be the official launch of the AmigaOne and AmigaOS4.0, to occur at the CeBit show in Germany in March (and before anyone asks, this does not mean this is the release date for AmigaOS4.0, it means that CeBit will be the public launch of it). With the huge exposure and attendance that CeBit brings in, and being in Germany, one of the spiritual homes of the Amiga, we think this an appropriate and exciting venue.

In addition we will support several other important national shows on a cooperative basis with the dealers, user groups and organizations in those countries. Commitments have already been given to attend the SINTEP show in Toulouse, France in April 2003, and at least one of the Micromart shows in Birmingham, UK.

We will also support local dealers and organizers of the main Amiga user group shows worldwide (subject to fitting in with the schedule of the larger shows above) such as the Alt-WoA and WoA-SE shows in the UK, as well as the main shows in France, Germany, the USA and Canada. If you currently - or would like to - organize such a show during 2003 and would like Amiga Inc, and/or Hyperion and/or Eyetech to attend please contact us as soon as early as possible during the planning stage. Given the limited resources we all have, and the cost and complexity of planning for the quarterly shows, we cannot guarantee attendance but we will do our best to support the community wherever it gets together to enjoy the Amiga platform.

So much for 2003 - what about the remainder of 2002, and in particular the Aachen show? We have all, both as individual companies and together, thought long and hard about this show. It has been decided that the timing could not be worse from our respective points of view.

Eyetech is committed to delivering the Earlybird systems for Christmas that week and Amiga Inc is fully occupied fulfilling an AmigaAnywhere contract, and product launch. Whilst visiting with all of you is important, we believe that it is more important to ship products right now, and we simply can not work the show into our schedules.

We wanted to share this with you because many in the community have asked the same questions that we have asked ourselves. How will the community grow and thrive? It can only do so through increased sales, and that means increased awareness. As we move from survival mode to growth mode, the small, local shows, however much fun cannot provide this level of exposure and awareness. By marching proudly and strongly into the mainstream shows, and taking the community with us, we are announcing that we are back, once and for all.

Have no doubt that after 8 years of darkness, 2003 will be the year that the Amiga once again makes the World remember that there is a better way.

Thank you, as ever, for your continued support and commitment.

Bill McEwen and the team at Amiga
Ben Hermans, Hyperion
Alan Redhouse, Eyetech

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Amithlon Mothballed

URL: http://www.amithlon.net/reason.shtml

I regret to announce that
this is the END.
I am going.
I am leaving now.
Good-bye!

Bilbo Baggins,
announcing his departure from Bag End

------------------------------------------------------------------------

December 1st, 2002: It saddens me greatly to announce that, effective today, any of my Amiga-related software development has been mothballed indefinitely. This means that, pending any unexpected developments, there won't be any "Amithlon v2" (aka "Berniethlon"), nor any further support or add ons for "Amithlon v1" by me.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have almost two years of my time invested in Amithlon/Berniethlon, and a lot of it was fun. However, the last nine months have been a complete nightmare. I have been lied to, lied about, threatened, libelled and abused, and have had my IP rights violated. Worse yet, the self-styled "Founder and Developer of Amithlon" as well as the former distributor have apparently also taken it upon themselves to threaten and intimidate anyone who so much as considers cooperating with me --- be that Amiga dealers, the P96 team, Chris Hodges, or the provider for www.amithlon.net.

I am a stubborn old fool, which is the only reason I have put up with that sort of harassment for so long. But no matter how stubborn I am, it gets to me. Oh, does it ever get to me! The last few months, I have only been able to go to sleep if I was completely and utterly exhausted --- and then would wake up too early, and be fatigued the whole day. And most mornings I would wake up wanting to scream, and to put my head through the plaster wall, just to forget about this whole crap for a few seconds. After a few months of that, I simply can't go on.

It's not just me who suffers, either --- due to the constant interference by H&P and HF, I have been unable to earn any money from my work on "Berniethlon"... That money was meant to take me and my girlfriend to Germany for Christmas, so my family could finally get to meet the woman in my life. Alas, no sales, no money, no trip. Disappointment and distress all round. And, trust me on this one, wanting to put your head through the wall is not one of the most sought-after qualities in a boyfriend, either.

So, this crap has to stop. And as the other parties have made it absolutely clear that they have no intention of relenting, I have to call it quits. I will make one last set of off-site backups of all the important code, and then simply remove it from my disks. I will take apart and reuse my test machine, and start working on something completely different. To quote Ludwig von Beethoven: "Applaud, friends, the comedy is over".

------------------------------------------------------------------------

A few more things --- as far as I am concerned, AmigaOS XL as (still) distributed by H&P contains my IP without a license. According to the last communication I had from Amiga Inc, it also contains their IP without a license (please note that I cannot verify the veracity of that claim; I am simply passing on what I have been told). Further unresolved IP issues exist with regards to the AmigaOS XL package. Thus, if you consider respect for intellectual property important (and let's face it, a market as small as the Amiga one is certainly doomed if you don't), I must strongly advise against purchasing AmigaOS XL. If you are looking for a commercial and fully licensed package to run Amiga software on the PC, I can only recommend Cloanto's excellent package Amiga Forever 5.

Also, have a look here if you are wondering why I closed down this site. No, it's not (just) because the bandwidth costs money.

If you have always wondered who did what for Amithlon, have a look at a breakdown I prepared a few months ago. Please note that I prepared it, and that there is every chance that one prepared by Mr. Frank would look different.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you are interested in seeing my comments and thoughts on the aftermath of this (and in seeing how things are going in general), have an occasional look at http://www.umilator.net (guess what "Berniethlon" was going to be called :), which I intend to turn into a personal weblog site during December.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is indeed a very sad day for me. I consider this outcome a horrible waste that does not benefit anyone, least of all you, the users. Let me close by expressing my sincerest gratitude and appreciation for each and every supportive email I have received, each encouraging word that has been sent my way, and most of all, for the joy you have given me through your appreciation of my work. And while at this point, I can't help but mourn for what could have been, I hope that some day, I will instead think of Amithlon and rejoice at what was....

Bernd Meyer

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The CUCUG Section:

November General Meeting

reported by Edwin Hadley (e-hadley@life.uiuc.edu)

November 21, 2002 - The meeting was going when I arrived.

There was a discussion going on about gaming machine capabilities that weren't being used. The hardware has more potential than what is used.

Mac Info - Jaguar introduces Journal file keeping in the 10.2.2 update. (Comments about this below...) It helps with figuring out what is happening when. It is also something that helps you to recover from a crash. It doesn't seem to cause a performance hit while running. The 10.2.2 update seems to be quite quick in general. (I, personally have noticed this since upgrading my computers at work.- ELH)

Jack brought his new 'Windtunnel' G4, the MDD or Mirrored Dual Door. It is called the 'Windtunnel' because the cooling fans are louder than in other G4's. He was to be using it in his SIG demo regarding OS X. It is a dual processor with a DVDR and a CDRW. Another of the Melby 'Super Macs.'

The release of the new 1 Ghz, Superdrive DVD burner equipped, Powerbook was discussed.

X-box info - X-Box Live is online. The device requires broadband. The set-up is available and the servers are up. The kit costs $50 and includes a headset with microphone, software to run it, two demo games and a one year subscription to the services. The rub is that nobody seems to know how much the service would cost after that first year. Another rub is that it requires a credit card hooked up to it to be able to use it. This could cause some customer satisfaction problems if the product is bought and then the price skyrockets. But 'they' don't want to say what the price is for the following years. And even the forums don't seem to know.

There are other concerns as well. Something about MS using it to ferret out 'mod-chip' boxes. And, in the typical fashion, the system will also toss out some boxes that are not modded. Kinda like killing a roach with a hand grenade.

A member brought a new SONY DVD writer he bought a Best Buy for $330. It has USB 1&2, Firewire, DVDR, DVDRW, DVD+R, DVD+RW, CDR, CDRW... "The only thing it doesn't do is RAM." And, it's actually 'Plugs & Plays!" Mike said this was the first Firewire device he has connected to his XP box. He started up an application that was supposed to NOT recognize Firewire and was pleasantly surprised by the drive showing up immediately. The discussion went to the capabilities of various DVD drives and formats of writing the info. Single layer versus dual layer discs. Some movie companies have been deliberately putting more on commercial DVDs to frustrate copying. Emil mentioned a piece of software for duping DVDs that are supposed to be exact duplicates. But several others spoke up saying that it doesn't make dual layer DVDs. Rich related a similar experience with another lower end Firewire Sony DVD burner that works very well, too.

"Kinda like a Mac!" someone said. Kevin Hisel piped up with "Laugh all you like but Windows has had Journal File keeping for years!"

Another ALDI computer flyer was passed around. The computer was packed with everything and more, but there was no price. If they are up to form it will be cheap.

So making back-ups of your DVDs is a rather difficult process for the amateur. But it is becoming easier all the time. There is a forum regarding DVD back-up at www.dvdxcopy.com that can help with some questions.

Tornado Net is now Volonet. They are up and running. Rich gave a rundown of their capabilities: $28 a month, you get 256 gig up and download. More is available for a cost. They are supposed to be from 6-10 megabyte through put up and down. It is line-of-sight with repeaters. It is fairly expensive. They install and maintain the equipment, you lease it. They hope to have installation down to $200 soon. Another option for the C-U area, but not too far outside of town. There are two repeaters in the area, one in Cherry Hills and another in downtown Urbana. They are supposed to be good in the rain and many other sorts of inclement weather. They hope to be at higher frequencies within a year.

The conversation turned to elections. The floor was opened up to nominations for President and fellow cohorts. Rich Hall was nominated for Treasurer, Kevin Hisel for Corp. Agent. Emil Cobb for Vice-pres. Kevin Hopkins for Secretary. I should also note Kevin's STUNNING, CONSTITUTIONALLY UPSETTING, NOMINATION & ELECTION, by unanimous voice vote, in-absentia, to the position of President! Congratulations, Kevin!! (IT'S A JOKE!! They made me do it!! - ELH) In actuality, we need a candidate for President. There is talk of drawing straws at the next meeting.

The discussion turned to the new club wireless set-up. It should allow all wireless equipped computers to connect with little or no trouble. There seems to have been a SNAFU at the last board meeting. Seems the messages got crossed and the unit was not purchased. But, at the next meeting we are supposed have a running wireless connection up and running. Anyone with a wireless equipped portable or an ethernet cable can hook up with a nice quick connection.

The Macintosh SIG: Jack Melby talks on OS X 10.2.2 Update & other things ...

reported by Edwin Hadley (e-hadley@life.uiuc.edu)

There was a discussion of Jaguar 10.2.2 Update. A free update and the upcoming 10.2.3 will be too.

Evidently, the standard HP inkjet printer and scanner drivers are crap. But, there are Linux drivers that work available on the web. Background printing will slow down the machine.

10.2.2 has good support for many digital devices like cameras and videocams. It includes all the new 'i' apps, iCal, iMovie, i, i, i, i! There was talk of Chimera (a Mozilla Product). It is called Navigator because Chimera is already taken by a PC software company. Jack likes a feature that brings up your favorites list via the icon in the dock. It is very fast. There was a question about browsing Windows machines with the new Jaguar interface. Jack seems to think it threatens Thursby's Dave out of the market. (I haven't tried this feature out on the VLAN at my place of work - ELH)

Jaguar allows journal file sorting. "It keeps track of all write accesses to your disc." It is shipped disabled. This so the amateur doesn't screw up his disc. The idea is that, in the event of a crash, you can recover your files much easier. The system will not have to do a 'fsck' at start-up. You only have to scan part of the file system as opposed to the entire system. It reads the log and can then relocate the files more directly. There are several forms of journalling systems around. There are pluses and minuses with each. But, it was recommended by all the Unix people in the group. Several people wish they, Apple, would turn it on by default. There seems to be no real downside except a small performance hit.

Jaguar info - If your system seems to be slowing down... use Disc Utility. It can be found in the OS X Applications folder in the Utilities folder. It replaces Disc First-aid. You will need to Repair Disc Permissions. This is one of the first things to check and repair. It may take some time, but it can increase the system's performance noticeably.

Jack mentioned a few third party applications, such as, Drive10, a useful utility from Micromat. It has a good optimization feature. Of course, FruitMenu again. (I wonder if this guy has stock in Unsanity??) And ASM now a payware - $15. (I have both of these as well. They are very useful. As well as, Labels X and Windowshade X. Apple needs to incorporate many of these features into the basic OS X - ELH.)

Question - Is OS X Unix? Answer - Yes.

A request to create a User Account followed. He wanted to see the basic desktop. Jack used the System Preferences to create a new user. The system comes set-up with the first user being the administrator, but not at the root level. When the administrator makes a new user it creates a folder in the Users folder and each user has his own desktop folder as well as a complete set of support folders. If the Administrator deletes an unwanted user, the file is still around, but in a 'Deleted User" folder. If you re-enter the system as Root, you can delete it completely. You need to know how to use the the Terminal or you log out and then log back in as Root. But you have to enable 'Root Access' via 'NetInfo Manager,' a powerful, and thus, dangerous application. This may not be something a novice will want to mess with.

Emil asked about adding sounds to the system. Jack said it's easier than before. Sounds are AIFFs, a common format. Add them via the Sound Pane. You will need a USB method of sound input if you don't have the sounds on your disc or a CD.

VersionTracker was recommended to get the latest of freeware, shareware and updates.

We talked about the 'responsiveness' of the new OS X update, 10.2.2, Jack thought it was much quicker than 10.1.5. (I have to agree - ELH) Jack crowed a little about his new dual processor G4. Several wanted to know what he did with his old machines? "I give them to my son," Jack says. "What does your son do with his old machines?" we ask. Jack didn't say. Jack has supposedly hired one of the chief developers for Chimera to work on a native browser for Apple. The idea is to dump Internet Explorer as the resident browser. Which begs the question, says Jack, 'Will Apple's new web browser be called iBrowse??? Groans all around...

There was a question about customizing the Dock. Jack pulled up the System Preferences and opened the Dock preferences. He explained the various options. Then he shows TinkerTool which adds many more options to the the Dock preferences than are available in the standard issue OS X.

He talked about CharView - a keycap-type application. It is a font character display application from a Russian developer.
Q - Can OS X use TrueType fonts?
A - Yes. It prefers them, but it does Type 1 Postscript and also will take OpenType fonts.
Q - Are there theme packages for OS X.
A - Yes, but Jack isn't into them. So he is not familiar with the what and the where of themes.
Q - Most system repair software seems to repair OS 9 Classic. Is there software that works on OS X?
A - DiscWarrior does.

Jack decided to show us his repair set-up. Jack being Jack has a disc partition for just about everything. He makes disc repairs via his Repair Partition. It includes CarbonCopyCloner This app clones a bootable OS X partition to another partition or drive. It maintains bootability and resolves related alias problems. It's free. He also has Drive10 from Micromat, Disc Utility & Disc Copy, two Apple utilities. (He has 2 120 GB drives with 9 visible partitions and 1 invisible partition. He has two versions of Apple DOS, two versions of Windows, and Xwindows on his machine.)

Disc optimization was discussed. There are pros and cons, we reviewed some of them.

The owner of Mousing Around, formerly Misbehaven' Macs, came to the meeting and passed out a few cards at the end of the meeting. He had to change the name because Apple didn't like the first one. He was looking for those that might be interested in working on broken Macs . Several expressed interest.

Emil Cobb spoke about a feature in the "Access" preference pane. The keystroke is Cmd, Opt.+ & - enlarges the scene for the sight impaired.

The SIG was starting to degenerate and several different groups started talking amongst themselves. Eventually we shut the show down and went home. A good time was had by all.

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November Board Meeting

reported by Kevin Hopkins (kh2@uiuc.edu)

The November meeting of the CUCUG executive board took place on Tuesday, November 26, 2002, at 7PM, at Kevin Hisel's house. (For anyone wishing to attend - which is encouraged, by the way - the address and phone number are both in the book). Present at the meeting were: Emil Cobb, Mike Latinovich, Rich Hall, Richard Rollins, Jack Melby, Kevin Hopkins, Kevin Hisel, and Jim Huls.

Emil Cobb: Emil reported that 13 attended the Linux SIG and that number grew to 28 at the Main meeting.

Ever the contrarian, Emil chairing the Board meeting, decided to call on those present in counter-clockwise order around the room, so Jim Huls came up first.

Jim Huls: Jim said the General meeting was cool, and Mike Latinovich and Kevin Hisel agreed with him that the Tech SIG was likewise "cool." Jim said the XBox thing turned out well and Ed Serbe and George Krumins did a nice job presenting it.

Kevin Hisel: Kevin presented the long dormant Library Cash Box to Treasurer Rich Hall.

Kevin said the meeting had been enjoyable throughout. The dissection of the monitor had been very interesting. Mike said we hadn't had anything like that in years.

Kevin pointed out that we have a Presidential crisis. We need to have a President and, as of yet, no candidate has stepped forward. Speaking of his own candidacy for Corporation Agent, Kevin joked, "If anybody runs against me, I'll immediately go negative." Consider yourselves warned.

Kevin Hopkins: Kevin distributed the mail from the P.O. Box.

Jack Melby: Jack noted that he didn't have much, since he had been away for two months "on medical leave." Jack said he had done a Question and Answer session of OS X Jaguar at the last Mac SIG. Emil reported that there had been a lot of good questions.

Richard Rollins: Richard said, "I'll get the doughnuts for the December meeting."

Speaking of the last meeting, he said the XBox demo went really well. "I didn't realized the XBox would do all it will do." He noted the DVD kit is now included free.

Richard reported someone wanted to do a PC tablet demo. Richard said he himself would do a video demo early next year and that it might be good as a combined meeting topic. He said we should also do another "build-your-own PC" night next year, perhaps in March. He concluded by asking others to "Please come up with ideas for presentations."

Kevin Hisel interjected that Jim Huls had won Publisher as the Win SIG meeting and would do a review of it. Jim seemed surprised by this later bit of information. Kevin said that at the next WinSIG meeting he would be giving out Digital Image Pro, a program that lists for $89.99 on Amazon.com.

Rich Hall: Rich reported that we had received a rebate on our taxes from the State.

There was a discussion of the parameters of the Annual Report to be given at the December General Meeting.

Mike Latinovich: Mike said he had thoroughly enjoyed the Tech SIG at the last meeting.

There was a discussion of the new wireless system being purchased for the club hardware for the meetings.

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The Back Page:

The CUCUG is a not-for-profit corporation, originally organized in 1983 to support and advance the knowledge of area Commodore computer users. We've grown since then, now supporting PC, Macintosh and Linux platforms.

Meetings are held the third Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at the Illinois Technology Center. The Center is located at 7101 Tomaras Ave in Savoy. To get to the Illinois Technology Center from Champaign or Urbana, take Neil Street (Rt 45) south. Setting the trip meter in your car to zero at the McDonalds on the corner of Kirby/Florida and Neil in Champaign, you only go 2.4 miles south. Windsor will be at the one mile mark. Curtis will be at the two mile mark. Go past the Paradise Inn/Best Western motel to the next street, Tomaras Ave. on the west (right) side. Tomaras is at the 2.4 mile mark. Turn west (right) on Tomaras Ave. The parking lot entrance is immediately on the south (left) side of Tomaras Ave. Enter the building by the front door under the three flags facing Rt 45. A map can be found on the CUCUG website at http://www.cucug.org/meeting.html . The Illinois Technology Center is also on the web at www.IL-Tech-Ctr.com .

Membership dues for individuals are $20 annually; prorated to $10 at mid year.

Our monthly newsletter, the Status Register, is delivered by email. All recent editions are available on our WWW site. To initiate a user group exchange, just send us your newsletter or contact our editor via email. As a matter of CUCUG policy, an exchange partner will be dropped after three months of no contact.

For further information, please attend the next meeting as our guest, or contact one of our officers (all at area code 217):

   President/WinSIG:   Jim Lewis                621-2343                 lewisj@pdnt.com
   Vice-President:     Emil Cobb                398-0149                 e-cobb@uiuc.edu
   Secretary/Editor:   Kevin Hopkins            356-5026                    kh2@uiuc.edu
   Treasurer:          Richard Hall             344-8687                 rjhall1@uiuc.edu
   Corporate Agent:    Jim Lewis                621-2343                 lewisj@pdnt.com
   Board Advisor:      Richard Rollins          469-2616
   Webmaster:          Kevin Hisel              406-948-1999
   Mac SIG Co-Chair:   John Melby               352-3638           jbmelby@johnmelby.com
   Mac SIG Co-Chair:   Charles Melby-Thompson   352-3638            cmelby@princeton.edu
   Linux SIG Co-Chair: John Ross                469-0208  hurricanejohnn@prairieinet.net
   Linux SIG Co-Chair: Kris Klindworth          239-0097       kris.klindworth@Carle.com

Visit our web site at http://www.cucug.org/, or join in our online forums at http://www.cucug.org/starship/index.php .

CUCUG
912 Stratford Dr.
Champaign, IL
61821

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