Recent Macs not only look different, they connect different too: FireWire and USB have supplanted SCSI and ADB, orphaning millions of peripherals. However, TidBITS readers are using a variety of adapters to enliven older hardware, including GeeThree.com’s Stealth Serial Port. On the software side, Matt Neuburg looks at Font Reserve 2.5, and we note updates to Netscape Communicator, USB Overdrive, and FaceSpan, plus a new Amazon.com patent.
Communicator 4.72 Fixes Handful of Bugs -- Netscape Communications has released Netscape Communicator 4.72, the latest version of its integrated Internet client and HTML authoring application
USB Overdrive 1.3 Released -- Alessandro Levi Montalcini has released version 1.3 of USB Overdrive, a universal driver for USB mice, joystick, and game pads
FaceSpan 3.5 Available -- Digital Technology International has released FaceSpan 3.5, the latest version of its interface builder for AppleScript and other OSA languages
Amazon.com Awarded Affiliate Program Patent -- On 22-Feb-00, the United States Patent and Trademark Office awarded Amazon.com a patent (applied for in Jun-97) covering the concept of affiliate programs for merchant Web sites
Poll Preview: Long in the Tooth -- While talking to Sue Nail of CE Software at Macworld Expo in San Francisco, Matt Neuburg and I were surprised to learn that the Prairie Group's DiskTop, a Finder alternative originally written by CE Software and last updated in the early 1990s, was still being sold and supported with bug fixes, if not actively developed
Last week's poll on which old-style hardware capabilities people have added to their new Macs provided interesting results. About 1,000 people weighed in with approximately 2,100 votes, which says that, roughly speaking, if someone added any adapters for old-style capabilities to a new Mac, they added two such capabilities on average.
SCSI was by far the most commonly added, with 69 percent of the respondents saying that they'd added SCSI, usually to support external storage devices or scanners, although comments on TidBITS Talk also indicated that scanners have become sufficiently cheap that buying a new scanner was often an equally good option.
Access to serial devices, such as modems and Palm cradles was the second most popular capability added, with 42 percent of respondents
Beginning with the first iMacs and progressing through blue and white G3s, PowerBooks, and the Power Macintosh G4, Apple has been quickly dropping floppy drives and legacy technologies like SCSI, ADB, and serial ports from the Macintosh line
It's now more than three years since I first glimpsed Font Reserve in action. In the two years since I started using it (in version 1.0.1), I haven't been without it for a moment, and I still feel as I did then: "Now this is how font management on the Mac should work!" Font Reserve accepts fonts and, storing the originals, copies, or aliases, makes them selectively available to the system