Shopping for a Mac
Back in March I was browsing around the Mac section of my local CompUSA when I overheard a salesperson’s conversation with a customer. The customer had noticed the new PowerBook G3s on display and inquired as to when the PowerBook G4s would arrive at this particular store. The CompUSA salesperson replied, “Apple is currently putting the finishing touches on the G4 PowerBooks, and they are expecting to ship in about a month.”
I just had to jump in on this one. I walked up to them and told them how Apple is working out problems with the G4’s high power consumption, and how it will not be readily available for use in PowerBooks any time soon. The CompUSA salesperson gave me a smug look and explained to me how “Apple gives their retailers information that does not make it out into the public. Apple wants you to think that a G4 PowerBook is not possible now, but only Apple’s retailers are told the truth.”
I was in shock. This guy was obviously a complete idiot. Not only did he make up a nice little story, but he drove the customer away, telling him to wait for the G4 PowerBook to come next month! I didn’t see any G4 PowerBooks in April, did you?
—Erik Lanigan, Tampa, FL
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Thanks and eDOC
I had meant to write earlier to say thank you! for a truly wonderful addition to my monthly (and otherwise) Mac-info collection. I look forward with anticipation to your insightful opinions and edifying articles.
OK, ’nuff of the high-priced spread. Here’s what I really wanted to say: I dearly miss the old eDOC option. But, I guess, c’est la vie. Progress is what it is, and we must take the bad with the good. So keep up the good work and if you ever decide to bring back the simple but elegant (for me!) option of eDOC then know that at least one faithful reader will be thrilled.
Sincerely, an American expatriate in Austria,
—Richard N. Bright
Until the author of eDOC resolves an incompatibility between it and Adobe FrameMaker (the software we use to produce ATPM), we can’t bring back the eDOC format. We unfortunately don’t know of any other software that can do what eDOC does, but we are planning some formatting improvements with eDOC fans in mind. —Michael Tsai
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Hi, just spreading the word: you can now get network Epson drivers for almost every Epson printer…very useful!
Keep up the good work.
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Sound Recording Program
I thought you might be able to offer some help. I am looking for a Mac program that I can program to record my favorite radio programs (through the sound-in port) while I am away from home. Even a program that records AIFF is fine; the files are easy to convert to MP3. The program would work best if I can specify a time range to record. Even better would be the ability to record multiple programs, but I will settle for anything at this point!
So far I have found a freeware program called ReCron, but it is not stable with OS 9.04, and is still somewhat under development.
Thanks in advance for any advice you might be able to offer!
This isn’t exactly my area of expertise, but here is what I could find:
This program, though it doesn’t have a timing option, has an option to start recording once the sound level goes above a certain threshold. So if you can make your radio go on and off at the desired times, it may work.
It is also AppleScriptable, so you could write a short AppleScript that would start and stop recording at the desired time(s). In general, AppleScript might be one of the best ways to go for this.
This one also has a volume-based option like Coaster, but isn’t AppleScriptable. However, it has a crude scheduling system that may be just what you are looking for!
- Authentic Sound Recorder
- Offers volume-based start and stop, but not much else.
- SndSampler and Sound Studio
These are classics, but neither has the functions you need. But maybe if you contact the authors, they’ll integrate scheduling in future versions. ;-)
I hope this helps, and let me know if I can be of any more assistance. —Daniel Chvatik
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Playing DVDs on a Television
Greetings from Ireland,
Can I mirror my DVD movies on a standard television? If so, what hardware, software, or cables should I get?
Keep up the great magazine.
Yes, you can mirror DVD to a TV with just some simple cables. I own a beige G3 300 Mac with Apple’s DVD-ROM drive (one of the first ones sold). All you need to do is run a set of RCA audio/video cables between the A/V out ports on your Macintosh (with the Mac turned off) to the A/V in ports of either your television or a device connected to your TV (such as a VCR or cable box). I recommend using good quality A/V cables (with gold-plated plugs and thick insulation).
If you have a DVD iMac or G4, then your connection options are different. These Macs mirror via a standard VGA port with a 15-pin mini D-Sub connector. I don’t know if you can use a simple adapter for VGA to TV and still display DVD movies.
Your Macintosh needs the TV Mirroring control strip module. So, obviously the Control Strip Extension and appropriate modules need to be installed and active. Now go to the TV Mirroring control strip and select “Turn TV Mirroring On.” Below that, choose “Use NTSC Standard” and “Best for Video.” I recommend deselecting “Leave Monitor On” because most Macs don’t have enough horsepower to display DVDs on a monitor and a TV simultaneously. Leave the “Overscan” option deselected for now. You can experiment later to see if the DVD movie looks better on the TV with Overscan selected.
If all has gone well, your TV should now be displaying your Mac’s desktop. Don’t be dismayed if the edges are clipped and the corners are excessively rounded. That commonly occurs when mirroring. You can now insert your DVD and launch the Apple DVD Player. Go to the Video menu and select “Fill Screen.” Make sure that the menu selection under the divider reads “Present Video on Screen” (rather that “…in Window”). Click Play and enjoy your movie.
This setup worked OK for me, but the DVD movies were not as crisp or clear as with a dedicated DVD player. However, I was sending the DVD signal to a 32" TV, which is a lot of pixel-pushing for my ATI Rage Pro-based DVD “personality card.” If you have a DVD iMac or G4, I don’t know how well the software-based DVD player will work with TV mirroring. You may not get a very good TV picture. —Greg Tetrault
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Reader Comments (3)
I say this because video mirroring is a function that doesn't make a hill of beans difference if you only have one display attached. The Mac should automatically try to display to the one device attached if there is only one device.
If I'm mistaken and Macs don't count the TV output as a regular display, try resetting your PRAM (Command-Option-P-R at startup and hold it long enough to let it chime 2-3 times) since PRAM is where monitor information such as mirroring settings is stored.
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