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We're back with beefy issue anchored by Jeff Carlson's discussion about choosing the Canon PowerShot S2 IS for going on safari. Before that, Tonya shares her experience with the innovative streaming music service Pandora, Adam points developers toward a better way to help users install applications, Matt Neuburg notes the open source Unicode font Gentium, and Glenn Fleishman reports on the demise of TaxCut for the Mac. News this week: the releases of Security Update 2005-009, BBEdit 8.2.4, TextWrangler 2.1.1, EyeTV 1.8.4 with iPod video support, Rhapsody for Web browsers, "Take Control of Apple Mail in Tiger," "Take Control of Podcasting on the Mac," and the second edition of "Take Control of Buying a Digital Camera" (on sale through Christmas).
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Last Call for Holiday 2005 Gift Ideas -- Submissions for our holiday gift issue have been a little light this year, particularly in the hardware and game categories, so if you've been holding off, drop us a note with your suggestions by 07-Dec-05. As always, we're collecting ideas in TidBITS Talk, so send suggestions to <firstname.lastname@example.org> or submit them in the TidBITS Talk Web forum, and please use plain text format rather than HTML. We've already started threads for specific categories. Please suggest only one product or idea per message, give the reason why you're recommending it, make sure to include a URL or other necessary contact information, and please recommend only others' products. Thanks! [ACE]
One for the Mac, Nineteen for Windows -- U.S. Mac owners have one less option to pay the taxman. For a few years, H&R Block developed TaxCut for Mac OS X, paralleling their fairly good online site for tax preparation and filing. However, there will be no TaxCut 2005 (that's tax year, not release year).
With the growth in tax-preparation Web sites that provide instant feedback, don't require downloaded updates, and offer all kinds of upsell ("Have an accountant review your return for $75, and we'll ship you a cheese sandwich for $15!"), standalone Mac OS X tax software appears to be a losing game. That said, Intuit's TurboTax remains an option for Mac users (Intuit also offers Windows and online versions). Their 2005 tax year version for federal filing is available now; state tax add-ons will appear starting next month.
For years, I worked with an accountant because of some complicated payout issues and other matters. I switched to TaxCut because I like the Web site and although the standalone version had some shortcomings, it seemed like the right choice. Now that I'm being forced to switch away from TaxCut, I'll be curious to see how easy it is to move my Quicken data into TurboTax. [GF]
Bare Bones Updates Text Editors -- Bare Bones Software has updated both of their text editors, the powerful BBEdit and the freeware TextWrangler. Both programs, which share the same text engine, benefit from a variety of bug fixes and the capability to turn off the Script menu. BBEdit 8.2.4 is a free update and is a 15.2 MB download; TextWrangler 2.1.1 is a 9 MB download. [ACE]
Gentium Goes Open Source -- Gentium is a lovely and free Unicode font designed by Victor Gualtney (at the University of Reading, in England) and now distributed by SIL International, a far-seeing organization that has long played an important and generous role in linguistic computing and related causes. Gentium contains a full range of characters for the Latin alphabet with all variants and diacritical marks, as well as Greek (Ancient and Modern) and phonetic symbols, making it a splendid choice for those wishing to represent Latin-based writing systems and transliterations, as well as for classicists and others. The news is that SIL has switched to a new "Open Font License" structure, making it possible for users to modify Gentium and to contribute to its further development. Those interested in languages, fonts, and the open source movement will find this to be a significant and commendable development. [MAN]
EyeTV 1.8.4 Offers One-Step Export to iPod Video -- If the limited selection of TV shows available on the iTunes Music Store is preventing you from watching video on your new iPod, check out the latest version of EyeTV from Elgato Systems. EyeTV works with video hardware to enable you to watch and record TV on your Mac, edit out unwanted content, and (in conjunction with Roxio's Toast) burn recorded shows to CD or DVD. The latest update, version 1.8.4, adds the capability to export shows to one of two formats for video iPods: QuickTime H.264 or MPEG-4, the latter of which Elgato claims encodes five times faster and offers higher resolution output. The updates is free to registered users of EyeTV, which costs $80 on its own, or comes in a dizzying array of bundles from Elgato (due in large part to international television standards; only four products are appropriate for U.S. Mac users). [ACE]
by Adam C. Engst <email@example.com>
A year ago, we did a DealBITS drawing for the program GarageSale, from iwascoding.com. GarageSale is a Mac OS X application that acts as a front-end for posting auctions on eBay. It integrates with iPhoto and the iSight camera, provides decent text-editing tools, and can track your auctions after posting. It was one of our most popular drawings; apparently lots of TidBITS readers post auctions via eBay and dislike eBay's Web-based interface. If you fall into that group, but haven't yet tried GarageSale, you have another chance to win a copy of the latest version, which now features a slew of nicely designed templates that you can use and customize for free (apparently eBay charges if you want to use their designs) and a streamlined interface. GarageSale also now takes advantage of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, via a Dashboard widget for tracking active auctions, with a new Core Image-savvy Image Editor to improve pictures, by searching auction templates with Spotlight, and by using Automator to work with auctions and images.
by Geoff Duncan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
RealNetworks today announced Rhapsody.com, a beta launch of a browser-based version of its Rhapsody streaming music subscription service for broadband users in the United States. Previously, the Rhapsody service was restricted to users running a Windows-only jukebox application; the new browser-based version opens popular features of the service to Mac and Linux users for the first time. Unlike Apple's iTunes Music Store, where users purchase and download individual tracks, Rhapsody users sign up for streaming audio service via the Internet. Subscribers paying for the Rhapsody Unlimited service can stream as much audio as they like for the $10 per month subscription charge; needless to say, users lose access to the music if they cease subscribing to the service, and there's no support for iPods, other portable music players, or any household digital music players for Mac and Linux users.
With the launch of Rhapsody.com, any user can - for free - stream up to 25 songs a month on-demand, as well as listen to 25 commercial-free streaming "radio" stations classified by theme and genre. Rhapsody carries over 1.4 million tracks from the five major music labels as well as independent distributors, so RealNetworks has enabled free streaming access to a big library of commercial music, no doubt hoping users will be so taken with Rhapsody - and that the company will earn enough advertising revenue from the browser-based player - that they'll eventually come out ahead.
To access Rhapsody.com, users must sign up (providing an email address, ZIP code, and year of birth, but no credit card info) after installing the Rhapsody Player Engine - a browser plug-in. Real says they support Mac OS X 10.3.9 or higher using Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari: installation failed spectacularly for me under Firefox 1.5, but installation using Safari worked fine, and thereafter Rhapsody.com was also accessible via Firefox. Aside from installation, audio quality via Rhapsody seems somewhat variable and the browser-based interface offers some amusing glitches (it's currently crediting every song in the '60s Pop station to Jan and Dean), but, even as a beta release, Real's move increases pressure on Apple to consider streaming and subscriptions options for its iTunes Music Store.
by Adam C. Engst <email@example.com>
One nicety about Mac OS X packages (folders that look like files; they're how most applications are delivered these days) is that they make installation easy. You download a disk image, open its window if necessary, and drag the program inside to your Applications folder. What could be easier?
Well, it would be easier if your Applications folder was a readily available target, but unless you've put it in your Dock or made it permanently visible in some other way, you must somehow display it, such as by opening another window or revealing the sidebar in the disk image's window by clicking the toolbar lozenge. But what if the developer made an alias to the Applications folder right in that disk image window, such that installation becomes merely a matter of dragging the program a short distance in the same window? Particularly if there's also a bit of instructional text and a graphical indication of what to do like an arrow, such an approach would make for an even better user experience than we have now.
I had just that idea a few years ago at MacHack while chatting with MindVision's Josh Ferguson about FileStorm, which makes it easy to create classy-looking disk images. But like so many good ideas, I never looked into what was necessary to make it reality. Just the other day, though, I downloaded a beta version of Dejal Systems' server monitoring tool Simon, and was delighted to see that David Sinclair of Dejal had implemented the very same idea.
When I asked David how he'd done it, he admitted that he'd read about the technique on O'Reilly's MacDevCenter in an article by Ben Artin, who works with Jim Matthews on Fetch (and who was a regular at MacHack - clearly all roads lead to Dearborn, Michigan). You can read Ben's full article for details, but in short, the trick turns out to rely on a Unix symbolic link instead of a normal alias, since a symbolic link can stand in for the Applications folder on the system it's on, rather than being an alias to the developer's Applications folder.
If you're a developer whose software should live in the Applications folder, I encourage you to adopt this approach to simplifying the installation process for your users. And if you're a user, like me, who has been irritated at having to reveal an Applications folder icon before dragging a new program to it, a gentle suggestion to developers whose software you've purchased wouldn't be amiss.
by Tonya Engst <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The holiday season is upon us, and if you are the resident geek in your home, that probably means messing around with smart playlists in iTunes to wrangle your holiday music into likely compilations - quiet music, lively music, silly music, and so on. If you tend to have long, uninterrupted chunks of time for setting up and maintaining an iTunes metadata system where you keep all those fields in the info window properly filled out, you'll probably enjoy playing music elf. However, if the reality of your life is that you'll end up spending several hours messing around with the Genre field while your uncle mutters about "more trouble than it's worth," your teenage cousin complains that all your music is boring, and your child tromps around noisily like a reindeer, you may want to dump your plans to organize music you own and instead bring in the experts.
The experts come in the form of a new Internet service called Pandora, based on the former Music Genome Project, which has analyzed over 15,000 songs to determine the characteristics that make them similar or different. Pandora brings the guidance of an expert music librarian to the morass that music listening has become, effortlessly streaming just the right music, Internet-radio style, to your computer with a minimum of effort from you. As with a normal radio station, you listen once and can optionally flag songs with a thumbs-up so you can easily remember what you liked, but you can't keep the tunes or listen again, though commands are provided to purchase the song from the iTunes Music Store or its CD from Amazon. Pandora is free in ad-sponsored mode, or a $36-per-year subscription fee eliminates the ads; it's available only to people in the U.S. due to licensing issues.
Opening the Box -- Here's how it works: you come up with one (or a few) artists or songs that you like, such as, say, Ray Charles, and you use it to create a "station." Pandora immediately begins playing a playlist that includes songs by Ray Charles and tunes that you will probably enjoy if you like Ray Charles, such as "Rollin' Stone" by The Marigolds. The elegant Flash-based interface shows the song title, artist's name, and album art. As the song plays, besides listening to it, you can click its image to act on it in a variety of ways: You can find out why the song is playing - you might learn that it has "classic soul qualities, mild rhythmic syncopation, and acoustic rhythm piano." You can give the song a thumbs up so Pandora knows to tweak the station with more songs like that one or add it to a Favorites list for future reference. If you dislike a song, you can give a it a thumbs down; if you do this, Pandora moves on to the next song and incorporates your feedback into future selections. You can also pause the track or jump to the next one.
Although Pandora's Flash-based interface runs in Web browsers (only in Safari and Firefox in Mac OS X 10.3 or later for Mac users), you can minimize it so it's nearly indistinguishable from any other brushed-metal application. Safari wasn't able to handle Pandora on our elderly blueberry iBook, but we were able to play Pandora through our AirPort Express-connected stereo using Rogue Amoeba's Airfoil utility. Pandora also requires a broadband connection.
The folks at Pandora understand the desire to share music - you can send a custom link to your radio station to others via email (the link to my Ray Charles station is below), or you can listen to the 20 most popular stations that other Pandora users are enjoying - I've been enjoying "International Pop Overthrow Radio."
I do realize that not everyone reading TidBITS is interested in Christmas music, but if you are, you can now further tweak Pandora by starting a station with the name of a holiday song or artist. I struck out in my efforts to follow the directions in the FAQ for combining the "holiday" key word with an artist's name - Pandora didn't know that Ray Charles or Henry Mancini have released wonderful Christmas albums - but it worked like a charm when I started a station based on "Jingle Bells." I was asked which of seven artists I liked the most - The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Ella Fitzgerald, Brenda Lee, and so on, and the station kicked off with "Christmas Island," a fun number involving coconut trees, which I'd never heard. So perhaps I had opened Pandora's box, after all, and suddenly iTunes didn't seem as much fun anymore. Instead of the usual fussing around to find the music in my library, it took only about 10 seconds to be treated to exactly the sort of music I wanted to hear. And since it's Christmas music, I don't even particularly want to own most of it; I enjoy it only for a few weeks of the year.
High and Low Notes -- If your iTunes library is anything like mine, it holds about 5,000 items which would require many hours of focused effort - effort which I must coordinate with Adam - to categorize effectively so I could generate smart playlists for any likely eventuality, and every time I buy more music, we would have to spend more time on the metadata. In Pandora, I can create up to 100 stations, which feed from a growing library that currently contains over 300,000 songs from over 10,000 artists. Although I find owning and organizing music an appealing idea, it doesn't seem to be in harmony with my current stage in life, where time is at a premium.
Although I like Pandora a lot, it's not perfect. It currently lacks classical music and is working on bringing in Latin music, and I'm not enough of a musical expert to know if it is missing other important genres. I would love to see it allow users to request songs by cultures or by all sorts of possible holidays, and to request radio streams by mood or era, such as inspiring, loud, or 1980s. And, using Pandora makes me think about how limited the Gracenote Media Recognition Service (previously known as the CDDB) is for importing a common set of useful metadata into iTunes and how wonderful it would be if Apple could bring Pandora's smarts into iTunes.
For now, though, I'm happy to listen to Pandora while my enormous pile of uncategorized iTunes music sits around, waiting for a day when someone comes up with a way to categorize it automatically or I wake up with a burning desire to mess around with metadata. In the meantime, though, I know a particular six-year-old who is waiting for his mother to play reindeer with him.
by Jeff Carlson <email@example.com>
For an upcoming vacation, I wanted to buy a new digital camera that offered more features and flexibility than my existing point-and-shoot model. Although my aging Canon PowerShot S200 has served me well for a number of years, I knew it wouldn't be up to the task of photographing animals on safari. Therefore, I faced a decision: upgrade to a full blown digital SLR (single lens reflex) camera, or find something in between that was still compact enough that it would not be a burden to carry. Fortunately, at the same time my colleague Larry Chen delivered version 2.0 of his ebook "Take Control of Buying a Digital Camera," on which I was the editor. With his advice as a guide, I picked the right camera for me: the Canon PowerShot S2 IS.
[The 2.0 version of "Take Control of Buying a Digital Camera" is now available as a free update for current owners. If you don't yet have a copy, it's on sale for 50 percent off through Christmas, as are our other consumer electronics books: "Take Control of Digital TV," "Take Control of Your iPod: Beyond the Music," and "Take Control of Buying a Mac." The discount applies to any one or more of these titles; use the link above to load the necessary coupon. -Adam]
Who Am I? Before I even started to look at camera models and reviews, I sat down to figure out what type of photographer I am. In the past, I've always been a "snapshooter," more concerned with getting the picture than with trying to eke out the highest quality of the shot; my little point-and-shoot gives me plenty of quality for just about any picture I typically need, and the small size makes it easy to carry along. But in this case, I'm headed to South Africa, where I'll have the opportunity to photograph sweeping savannas, wild leopards and elephants, and other subjects not found in Seattle (including the wildest of them all, my niece and nephew). In this respect, I will be shooting more as what Larry terms an "artistic photographer" than a snapshooter, focusing more on the quality of the image than the portability of the camera.
But the quest for higher quality usually leads one to look at DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) cameras, which can use specialized lenses and shoot at much higher resolutions (currently between 6 and 16 megapixels). DSLRs also include many more manual controls for setting aspects such as white balance, ISO speed, and the like. "Take Control of Buying a Digital Camera" version 2.0 includes a new chapter about DSLRs that not only gives you an idea of what you might spend for one, but also talks about characteristics specific to DSLRs that you may not run into with point-and-shoot cameras (such as focal length magnification factor and dust spots on the sensor).
Although a DSLR was appealing, I couldn't justify the cost (at least $1,000 at the low end) and I knew it was too much technology for me - I have no training as a photographer and, quite simply, want to get the best shot with the least amount of work. I'm willing to learn, but I don't shoot consistently enough to become an expert. Plus, when you buy a DSLR, you invest in a system - on most models, you're buying only the camera body, then purchasing a lens or three and associated peripherals. I didn't relish the idea of dragging a huge photographic kit with me.
Setting My Priorities -- With a DSLR off the table and a point-and-shoot too limited, I waded into the crowd of mid-level digital cameras. To narrow my search, I needed to figure out which features were most important to me. Obviously, I wanted more resolution. These days, that means looking for a camera with a resolution of at least four megapixels. However, that didn't narrow my search much.
So, I began compiling a list. I wanted some manual focus capabilities so I wouldn't be locked into using the automatic focus mode all the time. Tying into that, I wanted good macro capabilities, so that I could shoot objects extremely close-up without the lens and camera processor choking on the focus. At the same time, I wanted a good level of zoom, since I'd be shooting animals and the like from a distance. And I wanted good shot-to-shot speed, a notoriously tricky problem with most digital cameras, especially higher-resolution ones due to the time it takes for the camera to capture an image, save it to the memory card, and be ready for the next image. I can't tell a lion to please hold still while my camera digests its pixels, and kids aren't much more cooperative.
Size was also important. In fact, Larry's ebook sensibly encourages thinking about size and usability before delving into marquee features because you have to carry and grip and manipulate the camera's controls far more often than you press the shutter button. A camera that frustrates you due to its onscreen controls or poor ergonomics, no matter how tricked out with features, is a camera that ultimately gets left at home. After using my point-and-shoot for years, I already knew that I wanted something larger than a pocket camera but small enough that I could stow it in - and quickly retrieve from - a backpack or shoulder bag.
The middle range of digital cameras is also where manufacturers cram every last feature they can dream up in order to compete in their ongoing Marketing Bullet-Point Escalation. So I also made a short list of features I would ignore, such as digital zoom (useless), PictBridge compatibility (nice if I owned a supported photo printer, but I don't), video capture (I own a small digital camcorder), and built-in effects (oh, please).
Lastly, some people swear by certain camera manufacturers, but I'm flexible. I started by looking at Canon models because I've had a good history with their products; my S200 is still working just fine, and the S100 I owned before it still takes decent photos, even after I accidentally dropped it into a river.
Choosing and Buying -- Like a good geek, I took my search online. Web sites such as Digital Photography Review post extensive reviews of current models - enough to make my head spin. But they're also good barometers of what models photographers are interested in. That's when I came across the Canon PowerShot S2 IS.
As it turns out, my office-mate, TidBITS Contributing Editor Glenn Fleishman, owns the previous model, the PowerShot S1 IS, which let me add a valuable dimension to camera buying: hands-on experiences from friends and family. The S2 improves on the S1 on several fronts, such as increased resolution and better shot-to-shot speed. Both share a body style that meet my size and ergonomic requirements, with a rounded grip on the right side that fits my hand well.
Based on playing with Glenn's camera, reading the reviews, and viewing sample images taken from the S2 online, I decided to buy it. Here, again, Larry's advice came in handy. Using a few online price-comparison sites, I found the camera offered by a vendor for half the asking price of $500. However, I became wary: I wasn't familiar with the vendor (though it had fairly good buyer ratings), and most other stores were either selling the camera for full asking price (indicating to me that it was a popular model, so price cuts weren't necessary to attract buyers) or listing no current inventory. For all I know, that discount vendor would have delivered, but it seemed like too much of a good deal and spooked me.
Instead, I went to dealmac.com and set up a notification for "S2 IS," and a few weeks later received an email message that Dell's online store was offering a camera deal, a coupon, and free shipping that brought the price down to about $350. I jumped on it, also taking the opportunity to buy a pair of 512 MB SD memory cards.
Matching Priorities to Reality -- So, how did my wish list compare to the final product?
The S2's 5 MP resolution is probably more than enough for my needs, and the shots I've taken have been nice and clear. (You can view some of them at my Flickr site; the metadata stored with each image includes the camera used, so you can look at the right-hand column on a picture page to see which shots were taken with the S2 versus other cameras.) I was surprised to find quite a bit of noise in some of the shots, but Larry's ebook came through there, too: noise can occur at high ISO settings; I had been shooting some low-light tests and forgotten to reset the ISO.
The manual focus controls, while not as smooth as having a focus ring around the lens barrel, are intelligently placed. The manual focus button is located on the left side of the lens barrel (lens protrusion is probably more accurate), so I can press and hold it with my left hand and use a four-way rocker switch on the back of the camera with my right thumb. Pushing up or down increases or decreases the focal length, with a usable (but still somewhat limited) enlarged detail on the screen indicating the focus point.
The macro feature is, well, awesome. When I engage the Super Macro mode, it can focus on objects that are, according to the specifications, 0.0 inches away. Canon goes out of its way to make sure you understand that you can damage the lens by bumping it against the object you're photographing!
The 12x optical zoom is wonderful, especially compared to the 2x zoom of my S200. On my Flickr site, the photo of the Lenin statue near my office was taken from almost a block away using the maximum zoom. Another nice thing about the S2's zoom is that the lens barrel doesn't keep pushing forward as you zoom in; instead, when you enter shooting mode it extends to a fixed length, and the lens adjusts within the barrel as you zoom.
The shot-to-shot speed is impressive as well, at 1.6 seconds. I made a point of spending the extra money to get high-speed memory cards that can keep up with the data flow. I'm going to have to be careful with this feature, as I could easily fill up a card without realizing it.
I also discovered a feature I didn't know I would love until I got my hands on the camera. On my S200 and my wife's Canon PowerShot S50, the flash is always activated automatically when you power the camera up, but I find that in most cases the flash is too bright and either washes out the image or creates an unwanted high contrast between foreground objects and the background. Not only does the S2 have a setting for controlling the intensity of the flash, the physical flash mechanism must be raised by hand to activate it. This way, I don't have to remember to turn the flash off before I start shooting.
Final Thoughts -- I've had the camera for a few months and am very happy with it. I'm also indebted to Larry for writing an ebook that answered all of my questions (one reason I volunteered to edit the book in the first place). I'm writing this article mid-flight on my way to South Africa, so I'll soon know for sure whether my research and experimentation so far will pay off. Depending on my Internet access, I'll try to upload photos to my Flickr site when I can. I hope you enjoy them!
by Adam C. Engst <firstname.lastname@example.org>
PayPal Now Accepted for Take Control Orders -- Thanks to an upgrade to our shopping cart functionality from our friends at eSellerate, we can now accept PayPal payments for Take Control ebooks. The process of ordering remains almost exactly the same, but at the Billing Info screen, you can now choose between paying via credit card and paying via PayPal. If you select the PayPal radio button, the credit card fields disappear, and clicking the Continue Checkout button displays first a PayPal login screen and then a PayPal authorization screen, after which you're returned to the Confirm Order screen in our cart to finish your order. So, if you prefer to purchase online items with money from your PayPal account, or if you've had trouble with using your credit card in the past, give the new PayPal option a try for your next order.
"Take Control of Podcasting on the Mac" Released -- If you're excited about the idea of creating your very own podcast but need help getting started or working efficiently, you can now hop on the podcasting bandwagon with the start-to-finish guidance in our latest ebook, "Take Control of Podcasting on the Mac." Written by long-time podcaster Andy Williams Affleck, "Take Control of Podcasting on the Mac" leads you along the path to podcasting success from beginning to end. Andy starts by helping you think about your topic, format, and polish; assemble the best audio gear; and understand the pros and cons of recording in four popular programs - Audio Hijack Pro, GarageBand, Audacity, and SoundStudio. You'll find step-by-step directions for how to record in each of those programs, along with instructions on how to edit your recording by mixing in additional audio and eliminating any awkward bits. Andy also explains how (and why) to encode and tag your podcast file. Finally, he discusses how to choose a podcast publishing tool, offers essential advice about bandwidth costs, and gives you seven ways to promote your podcast. The ebook is available on its own for $10 or in a $17.50 bundle with "Take Control of Recording in GarageBand."
"Take Control of Apple Mail in Tiger" Released -- If you use Apple Mail in Tiger, and if you want to use it more effectively or have unanswered questions about its behavior, we highly recommend that you read our latest ebook - "Take Control of Apple Mail in Tiger." Written by the inimitable Joe Kissell, the ebook provides the guidance you need with regard to Mail 2.0.
Joe has been writing this ebook for months as an update to a previous ebook that he wrote about Mail in Panther. Along the way, he has carefully researched the new features: searching with Spotlight, changes to the interface, the best ways to use smart mailboxes, the practical upshot of Mail now supporting HTML, how to work with meeting invitations, using Mail with .Mac, and more. As Joe wrote (and wrote, and wrote, and wrote) he added more than 80 pages, so the ebook now weighs in at 184 well-organized pages, chock full of exactly the sort of info that you need to get your work done and use the software in an enjoyable, efficient manner.
You'll learn about the different email protocols Mail supports, the best ways to set up new accounts, how to import messages and addresses, and how to manage Mail's parental controls. That's just the beginning, as Joe next explains how to customize your incoming mail view for fast browsing of messages, control styles in incoming messages, display slideshows of attached photos, reply to meeting invitations, find messages using Spotlight, and organize mail into smart mailboxes. Then, he turns to outgoing mail, offering quick ways to address messages, tricks for sending attachments, and information on Mail's new HTML support. You will also find seven key bits of advice about rules, five ways to improve the Previous Recipients list used for spam filtering and address completion, and six suggestions for smart mailboxes. Going beyond the feature set, Joe offers solutions to connection problems, fixes for damaged mailboxes, and tweaks to improve Spotlight's accuracy. An extensive glossary and 11-page resource list of Mail-related products anchor the ebook.
The ebook is available on its own for $10 or in a $12.50 bundle with the updated-for-Tiger "Take Control of Spam with Apple Mail." Get them both while they're hot!
"Take Control of Spam with Apple Mail" Updated -- We've just released version 1.2 of "Take Control of Spam with Apple Mail." The update adds coverage of the Tiger version of Mail, plus looks at updated versions of spam-fighting software and other techniques in the effort to eliminate spam. The update is free for current owners; to get it, click your ebook's Check for Updates button. Here's a list of the most important changes:
If you haven't yet read "Take Control of Spam with Apple Mail," and you're finding that the Junk Mail filter in Apple Mail isn't doing as well as you think it should, be sure to pick up a copy today! You shouldn't have to live with spam in your Inbox.
by TidBITS Staff <email@example.com>
The first link for each thread description points to the traditional TidBITS Talk interface; the second link points to the same discussion on our Web Crossing server, which provides a different look and which may be faster.
Is anti-virus protection necessary? Macs don't suffer from the virus problems seen in the PC world; should Mac users even bother with anti-virus software? (21 messages)
Keyboard application switching -- The gift suggestion of LiteSwitch generates discussion of keyboard application switching tips. (4 messages)
Blogs vs wiki vs forums? When should you use a blog versus a wiki versus a discussion forum? (3 messages)
Finding and using power outlets in airports -- TidBITS Talk readers take the topic of PowerBook power adapters and morph it into a discussion of how to find power outlets in airports. (12 messages)
Digital photography books -- TidBITS talk readers suggest useful books about digital photography. (7 messages)
Music file conversions -- A complaint about not being able to burn an MP3 CD from AAC originals prompts a discussion of music file formats and conversions. (8 messages)
Protecting a PowerBook from unauthorized use -- How do you keep your PowerBook entirely secure? (3 messages)
Proper format for audiobooks -- When ripping CDs of audiobooks, what are the best encoding settings to use? (4 messages)
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