A column for people who remember what
the world was like before there was color.....
Odds, Ends, & Important Stuff June 22nd, 2000
Sometimes I just have to stop and catch up with all the notes I have made, all the suggestions I have received from readers, and all the things I have learned that I think are particularly cool. This week's column is going to cover some of these.
No matter how many times I use my Mac or the things I have learn, I still am awed by the fact that while I am talking to someone on the phone about something, that person can send me an e-mail about our subject and an instant later I can read it. I don't know, maybe it has something to do with watching test patterns on TV as a child and thinking they were interesting.
Deleting Locked Files
A special thank to everyone (Andre Benassi, Griggs Domler, David Nault , Henri Hansen , John Konopka , Todd Stout, and Bart VandenBroeck) who wrote to tell me of a much easier way to delete locked files than the one I recommended last week. Their advice:
There is a better way to delete locked items. Just put them in the trash, and then hold down the option key while you select "Empty trash.." It should delete all items, even locked ones.
I really appreciate when readers take the time to make suggestions or give advice.
Calendar 2000 Updated
Recently I reviewed a product called Calendar 2000. I received word from the makers, WunderMoosen, that an updated version has been released that, among other things, can now be used with Mac OS back to version 8.1. The information notes that: "Some displays have slightly different looks or colors due to differences in the toolbox but basic function remains the same. Versions prior to Mac OS 9 do not support some of the more advanced features as they are not a part of the OS. You can get more information from http://www.wundermoosen.com/wmCalendar2000.htm If you wish to download and try it out you can get it at http://www.wundermoosen.com/ca2k.hqx. This is a really cool application that is easy to use and useful.
My Dad Says His Performa Is TOO SLOW!
Those readers who have previously read about my 83 year old father's first foray into the world of computers with a hand-me-down Performa 560, might be interested to know that after only 5 months of use, he has decided that the Performa isn't fast enough! Oh, he SAYS it is because he needs a bigger screen, but he is not fooling me. So we are looking for a new computer for him with a 17 inch or 19 inch screen that just happens to also be at least a PowerPC. I expect to find one (with the help of my son) in the next couple of days, so soon I will continue the saga of his adventure into computer land.
Goody For Me!
Are you familiar with a site named HotTips Weekly, which is produced by MacHome Journal? I confess that I was not either until last week when I received a very nice note from the Editor, Pat St-Arnaud. He noted that a recent survey has revealed that a large part of their readership is composed of retired folks who are seeking to increase their computer skills. He very graciously invited me to submit an occasional commentary to be considered for publication, and I am looking forward to doing so. You can access MacHome at http://www.machome.com/.
Tu Much Information
There is a web site that I have been meaning to discuss called Tucows Network. It features both Mac and Windows information. Actually, I find the home page to be overcrowded and much too stimulating, but if you can get past that, you may find a great deal of helpful information. The best idea is to click on the Macintosh link on that first page. You will be asked to choose a region and a city that is close to you. Once you do that you will be sent to a source that offers tips for using your Mac, as well as download links.
Say Pal, Can You Spare Your Credit Card?
One aspect of web use that concerns a lot of people is how do you safely purchase things over the internet? Some people do it without any concern whatsoever while others refuse absolutely to give out their credit card numbers over the net. One of the biggest sources for internet purchases these days seems to be the auction sites (ebay, Yahoo! Auction, Amazon Auction). I have been purchasing things from the auction sites ever since I wrote about them in columns on August 11, 1999 and August 25, 1999. I have very much enjoyed these experiences because I have always managed to get good deals and/or find things I can't find anywhere else.
As far as I can tell, almost all transactions on the auction sites were made using money orders, cashier checks, or regular checks. The exception might be a commercial organization selling on an auction as another outlet for their merchandise and accepting credit cards. The money order route is obviously the safest for both buyer and seller, but it is slow and if you are anxiously awaiting, like I am right now, the scanner you purchased last week, the time can be bothersome. Even though I realize that if anyone stole my credit card number they couldn't get much further than across the street before the credit line ran out, I still prefer not to have the hassle of a stolen card and I am not alone in this concern. There is no way I would use my credit card to purchase from someone just because they said they are a business when I had no way to verify it. So, into this arena comes a new business. There are actually several and more seem to be appearing every day. The one that I am most familiar with is called PayPal. This is an organization, much like a bank except that you insert money into it and it turns around and pays your bill. PayPal states that each customer's account is insured for $100,000. A February article in the Wall Street Journal's interactive edition noted the following about this particular company.
Wall Street's Goldman Sachs Group Inc., together with a fund tied to the West Coast Web incubator idealab!, recently invested $23 million in PayPal.com during its second round of venture financing. Its first round came from Nokia Corp., the Finnish mobile phone giant, and Deutsche Bank AG of Germany. Before that, the company was working with seed money from individuals and a hedge fund run by the current chief executive, Mr. Thiel.
To become a customer one must submit one or more debit or credit card numbers that can be verified. Then you can immediately use the service for a limited amount, not to exceed $200, until they send you a letter verifying your address. Once you get the letter you must e-mail back the authorization number included in the letter. It is also possible to put on deposit funds from your bank so that you are not incurring any credit card charges. Although these companies started serving people buying and selling through auctions, I have observed that they are now expanding into other areas. Therefore, if I win an auction I can pay for it within minutes of the end if I so choose. No trip to the store to buy a money order, and no extra week before I get delivery. The recipient of the payment is notified within the hour that the payment is there, although they can't actually get it for a week or more depending on how they want it delivered (a paper check, or a direct deposit). According to the literature, most people just leave it there to use for their next purchase or payment. Before writing about this, I tested the system for about 3 months.
Way Too Tense
So now my "note box" is empty, always a satisfaction to a Virgo.
If you have any tips, suggestions, or other comments about this, or any other Mac topics, send them to me so that I can share them with other readers.
Copies of Nancy's book Tips, Hints, and Solutions for Seasoned Beginners Using Apple Macintosh Computers With OS X are available in PDF download versions for US$9.57 and in print version for $18.15 plus $4.00 shipping. To view sample pages and get ordering information visit the September 14, 2004 column.
Talking to a generation that remembers what the world was like before there was color,
covers issues for people who don't care how their computer works, but rather what their computer and the internet can do for them.
Nancy has a Master's degree in Human Services Administration and prior to her retirement she worked for almost 30 years in field of mental health and mental retardation. She has been a Mac user for 11 years, and has recently developed an avocation of teaching basic computer skills in both group and one-to-one settings.