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Mighty Mouse as Application Switcher

Looking for an easier way to switch between multiple applications? Within Keyboard and Mouse Preferences under System Preferences, you can configure the scroll wheel to act as an Application Switcher. Press the scroll button to bring up Application Switcher, scroll to toggle to the application you want, and hit the scroll button again to switch. You can also double-click the scroll button to quickly switch to the previously active application.

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CD-WORMs

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One frustration with the new forms of optical storage is that they are mutually incompatible. At least up to now, if rumors on Usenet prove to be true. One rumor says that a European company is working on an erasable optical drive which can also read the CD-ROM disks that are becoming a popular method of distributing large amounts of information. This would be a boon to those of us who would like to read the occasional CD-ROM but don't use them enough to justify a stand-along CD-ROM player. Of course you would still have to need the massive storage abilities of an erasable optical to justify the undoubtedly higher price of a hybrid unit, but that's nitpicking.

A more exciting rumor claims that Yamaha is working on a WORM drive that can write to standard CD-ROM platters, which can then be read in normal CD-ROM players. The advantages of this method of creating CD-ROMs are that the CD-ROM format is standardized, unlike the WORM formats, and CD-ROM platters are far less prone to damage or data loss than tape or magnetic media, making the system ideal for large backup sets.

The ability to create a standard CD-ROM incrementally in a WORM drive is extremely interesting, because it's a relatively complex and expensive procedure to master a CD-ROM, although the price per disk is low after the initial mastering costs. The standard method is to create a tape of the information and then transfer that tape to CD-ROM, a process which is typically clumsy. This ease of production might also increase the use of the sound and digitized graphics, both of which are usually space-hungry. So pay attention for these products and let us know if you hear anything more!

Information from:
Philip Machanick -- philip@pescadero.Stanford.EDU
Eric W. Mitchel -- ewm@mdavcr.UUCP
The Road To CD-ROM, Nimbus Information Systems -- 800/782-0778

 

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