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Earth to Netscape: Communicator 4.01 Released

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Netscape Communicator 4.01 is now available for the Macintosh. The software contains a suite of Internet tools for Web browsing, email, HTML publishing, receiving pushed data, and more. The Web browser, called "Navigator" within the suite, represents an upgrade from Netscape Navigator 3. A Professional Edition comes with additional modules for group scheduling and network automation. Judging from the buzzword-compliant data sheet (which may have been authored by Dilbert's boss), both versions are aimed squarely at corporate users. Communicator 4.01 also fixes the recent "privacy" bug that received widespread media attention. This bug enabled nefarious webmasters to retrieve known files from users' disks.

Perhaps the most noticeable new feature in the Navigator module (and one more aimed at consumers) is the Bookmarks menu, which comes preconfigured for your convenience with categories such as Sports and Shopping. Each category has sub-items; for instance, Shopping includes The Sharper Image and Amazon Books. User bookmarks display at the bottom of the menu. Although new users may find the menu a convenience, for me it felt as though a shopping mall had attached itself to my browser.

I found that I could change the new bookmarks menu by swapping in my old bookmarks.html file such that it replaced the bookmarks.html file in my user folder (located in the Netscape Users folder within the Preferences folder of my System Folder). I did some testing and found that editing the new bookmarks.html file also works, but I don't yet know whether either solution is permanent.

According to Netscape, Communicator requires at least a 68030-based Macintosh with 16 MB RAM and System 7.5 or later. The Standard Edition download, with all Communicator components, is about 10 MB. [TJE]

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