My iTrip works pretty well, but beware—it eats up the iPod battery even when everything is turned off. My advice is to always disconnect it when it’s not in use.
PalmSource dropping Mac support (from March’s column) is one more reason to look to alternative PDAs. It’s unfortunate that the one developer who supported Mac users has decided to discontinue that support when it would be so easy to incorporate SyncML. I no longer have a reason to recommend Palm devices over others to my clients. “So long, Palm.”
I agree with much of what Charles Moore had to say in the April issue about a more usable PowerBook. Forget the “who can make the thinnest” contest for a 17-inch model and give us something that can be moved but has a full keyboard and includes card slots and expansion bays (I like the idea of the detachable screen). I personally think the current 17-inch PowerBook looks funny…silly-putty, anyone?
However, the idea of a module-based iMac is not a good idea. iMac buyers—in my experience as a computer consultant and tutor—want everything in one, easy package. Can you imagine a novice user trying to figure out which monitor to purchase in today’s market? Yikes!
You really got me on this. I’m almost crying after your “disclosure.” Except for the painting of furniture in ugly (shudder) colors, I was almost trembling of wonder and expectation…and it sounded so much like MORE…I was sure no one would get me on April 1st. Thanks for all your great columns and for putting so much love and hard work in your writing!
You are a very funny and entertaining guy, Ted. I read the entire piece with my jaw on the floor until the revelation. I believe my head actually rotated 360 degrees on the “Jeholodens” line.
As an outliner junkie desperately in need of a support group, your column makes my month.
What a cool review! This is the most witty and sardonic piece I have read for a long time. May not have blown my tympanic membranes, but sure blew my sides away with laughter. You made my day, dude.
—Mike Chee, Singapore
A truly edifying article. I feel so much more informed and on top of things since reading it. I have a problem though. I’ve got the original sub and would like to find Soundsticks without the subwoofer. One is enough, but it seems the sticks are not sold separately. I’m reduced to using satellites from Wal-Mart. I wonder how their sound quality holds up to the Soundsticks? Why not save another $190?
Were those tubes used in the old Dynaco amps? I think I remember buying a Lion brand tube that was similar for about thirty dollars in 1964.
I do not know if you can get the Soundsticks sans-sub.
Dynaco made many different amplifiers but none of them used 300B tubes. They were mostly EL34- or KT88/6550-based. Also, Dynaco amps were all push-pull pentodes, whereas the 300B is a triode and most commonly used in single ended configuration, although there are some amps that use the tube in a push-pull configuration. The Manley monoblocks I mentioned actually work in either SE or PP mode. You can switch them on the fly, during playback, and effectively double the output power by going to PP (so you get about 25 watts vs. 12), which is a neat trick. They are the only amp I know of that does this, and Manley invented the circuit that allows switching “on the fly” from SE to PP.
FYI, the EL34 and 6550 tubes used by Dynaco and still in use by many other amplifier manufacturers (including Manley—they make a series of push-pull pentode amplifiers like the ol’ Dynaco’s) are much less expensive than 300Bs. You can pick up an good, new EL34 for about $12. —Evan Trent
Networking With Windows
I have a 20" iMac with OS X 10.3.3 and a Windows 2000 box. I have them networked with a Linksys router to share a DSL connection. We have recently decided that we want to share files, as well as a printer (HP 880c). The printer is hooked up to the Windows 2000 box. And the iMac does not want to see it. (I believe that printer and file sharing is turned on, on the Windows machine.)
I have done a little research through Apple on how to accomplish this. I have turned on file sharing and the firewall on the iMac. From the Windows box I can access my account on the iMac. However I can not access the Windows box from the iMac. Its kind of confusing. I am pretty sure that I have file sharing turned on both computers, which should allow access. I have shared the drives that I wish and set the person whom I wish to share with. However I still can not connect to the PC.
Any suggestions? I don’t think that I am leaving anything out.
OK, first things first. Probably the easiest way to share that printer is not to network it but simply to plug in the parallel port to your PC and the USB port to your Mac. Using Windows Printer Sharing with a Macintosh isn’t going to work. In order to share the printer on a Mac/PC network you would need to use PC MacLan to make it an AppleTalk printer—Windows does not know how to do that out of the box.
Second—to access your PC from your Mac, you need to make sure that file sharing is turned on under Windows. You may have it turned on but you may not have set up the sharing preferences to determine which files, folders, drives etc. are shared. It is also possible that you have a firewall on the Windows machine that is blocking the iMac’s attempts to connect. Turn off any firewall software on the Windows machine (you don’t need it if the Linksys router’s firewall is turned on anyway) and see if that solves the problem.
Also—if you get PC MacLan to share the printer, you can use that to share files with the Mac. It will allow you to share your Windows files using AppleTalk, which can simplify the process and also allow access under OS 9 (which does not support Windows File Sharing) —Evan Trent
Upgrading and Networking Old Macs
Hello I am currently trying to set up an after-school club in London England using the old beige Macs. I have four 5200s, one 5400, two 5300s, one 5320, two 6400s, and five 8200s. I am aware that I have to upgrade the RAM on each machine. I would like to know what would be the best router to use and or switch/hub. Also, what would the most stable operating system be for these computers? I would also like to hook up a printer and scanner through a beige G3; would this be possible or feasible? Also, could you recommend the most cost-effective way of upgrading the RAM in these computers?
OK, we have a lot of ground to cover on this one.
1) Best router or hub—this is open to some debate. Personally, I am a big fan of Asante products. They tend to cost a bit more than some of their counterparts, but I feel they are worth it. They are usually among the fastest in their class, and tend to be pretty Mac-friendly (both the products and company). Some other good choices are Netgear and Linksys. If you just want to network these machines together, a switch will do the trick. If you want the entire network to also be hooked up to the Internet, you will want a router.
2) You can see full specifications for all of the machines you have on EveryMac. It will tell you what the max RAM capacities are for each machine, and also the most recent OS revision each machine can run, etc. If memory serves, all the machines you mention can run OS 9 and that would probably be the best choice.
3) Some great sources for RAM are dealram, and ramseeker. These will help you find competitive prices, and they have very good selections of RAM for new and old machines.
4) Yes, you can certainly hook up a printer and scanner to a Beige G3. What printer/scanner are you trying to hook up, and are you implying that you want to network these devices or just hook them directly up to the G3? Networking a printer is usually pretty straightforward. Networking a scanner may or may not be possible depending on the model. —Evan Trent
Upgrading a LAN
We have installed: a DSL connection and a four-port D-Link router.
We have not installed: a G4 to be reconfigured as a server, an iBook, a PowerBook, two PC laptops, a USB printer, and a Maxtor USB backup drive.
Question: do I need to buy a hub/switch to connect all the devices on the LAN? Can some devices be connected to the router and some to the switch, and still be part of the LAN? Any other hardware/software that is needed here? Print driver?
Yes, you will need a hub/switch to connect more than four devices to the router. What I would recommend is buying an Asante (or D-Link, Netgear, Linksys, etc.) eight-port switch. Plug all of your devices into the switch, and use the “uplink” port to connect to one of the four LAN jacks on the router. That should do the trick. The other thing this will do for you is allow you to use AppleTalk networking on your LAN, which may be useful for the OS 9 machines. Some routers do not pass AppleTalk even on their LAN ports. It can be a nuisance. But most hubs/switches do pass AT, and if you have the devices plugged into the switch, and then the switch plugged into the router, the router will not block AT because internal traffic goes through the switch and never goes to the router.
Yes, some devices can be connected to the router and some to the switch. You could buy a four-port switch and use both sets of LAN ports. However, the cost of an eight-port switch vs. a four-port is not substantially higher, and you would lose AT (see above) networking. Beyond that the repercussions are negligible.
No special software is needed. However you should be aware that if you share a USB printer under OS X it will not be available to OS 9 machines. So you should share the printer on an OS 9 machine (like your G4 server) and then it will be accessible to all the Macs. —Evan Trent
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