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TidBITS#698/22-Sep-03

The Mac community let out a collective "Finally!" last week when Apple introduced aluminum 15-inch PowerBooks – and began shipping them, too! Apple also refreshed the 12- and 17-inch PowerBooks, and released a Bluetooth wireless mouse and keyboard. On the software front, StuffIt Deluxe 8.0 debuts today, and we note the releases of SpamSieve 2.0.1 and Office X 10.1.5. Also, Alex Hoffman reviews one of our favorite devices, the TiVo Series2 DVR.

Adam Engst No comments

SpamSieve 2.0.1 Improves Accuracy

SpamSieve 2.0.1 Improves Accuracy — Michael Tsai has released SpamSieve 2.0.1, a major upgrade to his helpful Bayesian filtering-based anti-spam tool (see "Tools We Use: SpamSieve" in TidBITS-667 for a review). SpamSieve 2.0.1 now integrates with Eudora 6.0 as a plug-in under both Paid and Sponsored modes (Eudora’s own SpamWatch works only in Paid mode), which makes SpamSieve 2.0.1 significantly easier to use within Eudora than earlier versions. Michael also added an automatically maintained blocklist (the addresses of senders of mail marked as spam) and whitelist (the addresses of senders of mail marked as good); keeping these inside SpamSieve’s database eliminates the need to clutter address books with unnecessary addresses. A number of tweaks should improve SpamSieve’s accuracy: it now extracts more information from each message, parses HTML better, understands common plain text obfuscations, marks messages with Habeas headers as good, and uses a new method of calculating word probabilities. One final nice touch: SpamSieve now displays the number of good messages from the last mail check on its Dock icon. SpamSieve 2.0.1 requires Mac OS X 10.1.5 or later with Emailer, Entourage, Eudora 5.2 or later, Mailsmith, or PowerMail. The upgrade is free for registered users; new copies cost $25. It’s available as a 2 MB download that works in trial mode for 30 days or 20 launches. (The 2.0.1 release fixes a few bugs that revealed themselves a few days after version 2.0’s recent appearance.)

<http://www.c-command.com/spamsieve/>

<https://tidbits.com/getbits.acgi?tbart=07076>

One tip from my testing with Eudora. To train SpamSieve from an existing collection of spam and good messages (and Michael recommends resetting your corpus to take full advantage of SpamSieve’s new capabilities), follow these steps after installing SpamSieve 2.0.1. Select Eudora in the Finder and choose Get Info from the File menu. Turn on the Esoteric Settings 6.0 plug-in in the Plug-ins section of the window, then close the window and launch Eudora. Choose Preferences from the Eudora menu, scroll down to the Junk Extra settings panel, and check "Always enable Junk/Not Junk menu items." Then you can select some spam messages and mark them as Junk (beware that Eudora defaults to moving them to your Junk mailbox when you do this) and select some good messages and mark them as Not Junk. [ACE]


Jeff Carlson No comments

Microsoft Office X 10.1.5 Released

Microsoft Office X 10.1.5 Released — Microsoft earlier this month released Microsoft Office X 10.1.5, an update to the business suite which tackles stability issues with PowerPoint, Excel, and Visual Basic for Applications. Before updating, be sure you’ve installed the Office X 10.1.2 Update and the Office X 10.1.4 Update. The update is a free 6.3 MB download. [JLC]

<http://www.microsoft.com/mac/downloads.aspx>

<https://tidbits.com/getbits.acgi?tbart=07291>


Adam Engst No comments

New PowerBooks Announced in Paris

At Apple Expo in Paris last week, Steve Jobs at long last unveiled the long-awaited update to the Titanium PowerBook G4. The new aluminum-clad 15-inch PowerBook G4 offers two configurations with a choice of a 1 GHz or 1.25 GHz PowerPC G4 processor (both with 512K of on-chip level 2 cache, which, according to Apple, makes up for the lack of a level 3 cache that was present in some earlier PowerBook G4s), Combo drive (CD-RW/DVD-ROM) or SuperDrive (CD-RW/DVD-R), 60 GB or 80 GB hard drive, and an AirPort Extreme card (hopefully with better range than the abysmal Titanium PowerBook G4). Also optional for $70 is the neat backlit keyboard technology from the 17-inch PowerBook; the backlighting is standard on the higher-end configuration.

<http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2003/sep/ 16pb.html>

<http://www.apple.com/powerbook/index15.html>

Standard features include a 15.2 inch LCD display running at 1280 by 854, 56K V.92 modem, built-in Bluetooth networking, the ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 with 64 MB of DDR SDRAM, built-in stereo speakers with a midrange-enhancing third speaker, keyboard, trackpad, and a 46 watt battery that provides up to 4.5 hours of battery life (the 15-inch PowerBooks use the same 65 watt power adapter as the 17-inch PowerBook, not the 45 watt adapter used by the first-generation 12-inch PowerBook). Ports include one PC Card/CardBus slot, built-in 10/100/1000Base-T Ethernet, one FireWire 400 port, one FireWire 800 port, a pair of USB 2.0 ports, DVI video output port (with an included DVI-to-VGA adapter), S-video output port (with an included S-video-to-composite adapter), audio line in, and a headphone jack.

All this comes in a 5.6 pound (2.5 kg) package 1.1 inches (2.8 cm) high, 13.7 inches (34.8 cm) wide, 9.5 inches (24.1 cm) deep, putting it smack between the 12-inch and 17-inch PowerBooks in size and weight. For you number crunchers, those measurements make the new model slightly thicker (by 0.1 inches, 0.3 cm), wider (0.4 inches, 1.0 cm), and heavier (0.3 pound, 0.1 kg) than the Titanium model. Although those numbers aren’t drastically different, some Titanium PowerBook G4 owners may need to look into buying laptop sleeves and cases redesigned for the new dimensions.

A stripped-down model costs $2,000; the loaded model comes in at $2,700. Both models are listed as "Available Now" at the online Apple Store, and many Apple retail stores had the configurations in stock at the time of last week’s announcement.

We can only speculate why Apple chose to keep the Titanium PowerBook G4 in its lame duck position in the PowerBook lineup for nine long months after introducing the 12-inch and 17-inch PowerBooks (we suspect Apple was trying to sell off as many existing units as possible before introducing new ones), but the release of the 15-inch PowerBook G4 should spur laptop sales. For many people, the 12-inch PowerBook was just too small and underpowered, whereas the 17-inch PowerBook was just too large and expensive. Much as Mama Bear’s oatmeal, chair, and bed were just right for Goldilocks, the 15-inch PowerBook should meet the needs of many Mac users, thanks to its large display, excellent performance, and complete set of features at prices starting $1,000 below the 17-inch PowerBook.

12-inch and 17-inch PowerBooks — Along with the new 15-inch PowerBook G4, Apple made some small but welcome changes to the existing 12-inch and 17-inch PowerBook G4s. The 12-inch PowerBook G4 replaces its 867 MHz CPU with a 1 GHz PowerPC G4 CPU plus 512K of level 2 cache, double the previous amount. Another welcome change is the addition of a mini-DVI port and a pair of adapters for connecting DVI- and VGA-based monitors. Lastly, the Nvidia GeForce FX Go5200 graphics processor with 32 MB of DDR SDRAM replaces the GeForce4 420 Go. Pricing remains the same.

<http://www.apple.com/powerbook/index12.html>

The 17-inch PowerBook G4 upgrades its 1 GHz CPU to a 1.33 GHz PowerPC G4 with 512K of level 2 cache (twice as much as before), trades in its 60 GB hard drive for an 80 GB model, and swaps its Nvidia GeForce4 440 Go graphics processor with 64 MB of DDR SDRAM for the ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 with 64 MB of DDR SDRAM. Along with these improvements, the 17-inch PowerBook’s price drops $300, so models start at $3,000.

<http://www.apple.com/powerbook/index17.html>

Bank Notes for Keynote — Finally, if you need still more incentive to consider purchasing a PowerBook (or any new Mac), Apple is offering an instant $50 rebate if you include the Keynote presentation software in the same purchase. The rebate is good through 27-Dec-03.

<http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2003/sep/ 16keynote.html>

<http://www.apple.com/promo/keynote/>


TidBITS Staff No comments

Apple Releases Wireless Keyboard and Mouse

At last week’s Apple Expo in Paris, Apple introduced the Apple Wireless Keyboard and Apple Wireless Mouse, a pair of Bluetooth-based wireless input devices for Macs running Mac OS X 10.2.6 or later with Bluetooth capabilities (either built in or provided by an external adapter). Both work within 30 feet (9.1 m) of the Mac. The keyboard relies on four AA batteries and comes with Energizer e2 alkaline batteries that promise up to nine months of use, while the mouse uses a pair of AA batteries and should get up to three months of use with its Energizer e2 lithium batteries. Both switch into low power mode automatically and provide on/off switches for times when you know the computer won’t be in use (handy for PowerBook users who want a no-clutter traveling mouse).

<http://www.apple.com/keyboard/>

<http://www.apple.com/mouse/>

<http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2003/sep/ 16keyboardmouse.html>

Aside from cutting the desktop cords, the most interesting aspect of these products is how they implement Bluetooth. To prevent snoopers from watching keyboard traffic, both devices offer 128-bit encryption of the Bluetooth signals. Also, Apple claims the devices are the first to use Adaptive Frequency Hopping software to eliminate interference between Bluetooth devices and other wireless uses in the 2.4 GHz band (such as Wi-Fi networks and cordless phones). This feature, which will appear in an upcoming Bluetooth 1.2 specification, takes advantage of an FCC ruling last year that provides flexibility for frequency hopping devices using 1 MHz per channel; formerly, devices had to hop among at least 75 channels, but they can now hop among just 15.

<http://www.bluetooth.com/>

A firmware upgrade is expected to be released for all previous Bluetooth hardware offered by Apple, except for the first version of the D-Link USB Bluetooth adapter, to support adaptive hopping.

Retail cost is $70 for each device, and they should be available within two to three weeks from the usual sources. Also, both devices require Mac OS X 10.2.6 or higher. Apple’s press release said nothing about the new keyboard and mouse becoming standard equipment on future Macs, but given Steve Jobs’s legendary desire for sleek, uncluttered design, we wouldn’t be surprised.


Adam Engst No comments

What’s New in StuffIt Deluxe 8.0

Aladdin Systems today released StuffIt Deluxe 8.0, the latest release of one of the oldest continuously developed Macintosh programs. It’s safe to say that almost every Mac user has seen some facet of StuffIt over the years, thanks to the ubiquity of the free StuffIt Expander, which Apple ships with every Macintosh. For those that haven’t seen the full StuffIt Deluxe, though, it provides a suite of tools that enable you to compress, archive, encrypt, and expand files in a wide variety of compression, archiving, and transmission formats. If you are new to StuffIt Deluxe, be sure to read the "What’s Included in StuffIt Deluxe" section of the QuickStart file for a full list of components, many of which haven’t changed, and which I won’t discuss here.

This major upgrade to StuffIt Deluxe 8.0 brings to Mac OS X an extremely useful feature from the Mac OS 9 versions of the program – Archive Via Rename. It also adds a new StuffIt Archive Assistant for certain types of backups, integrates with three popular applications, enhances DropStuff, builds HTML help into the applications, and more.

<http://www.stuffit.com/mac/deluxe/>

StuffIt Deluxe 8.0 requires Mac OS X 10.1.5 or later, with Mac OS X 10.2 recommended. StuffIt Deluxe 7.0.3 remains available for Mac OS 8.6 through 9.2.

Archive Via Rename — I’ll confess. I would upgrade to StuffIt Deluxe 8.0 for this feature alone. In Mac OS 9, StuffIt Deluxe long provided a system extension that noticed when you added or removed specific extensions from a file or folder name, performing the appropriate action when you completed the rename action. If you added .sit to a filename, StuffIt Deluxe promptly compressed the file. If you removed .sit from the filename, it was instantly expanded. Since the StuffIt files I use are generally coming from or going to the Internet, managing them by naming them appropriately felt more immediate and direct than using StuffIt Deluxe itself, DropStuff or StuffIt Expander, or even the contextual menus that StuffIt has long provided.

In the brave new world of Mac OS X, however, Aladdin was unable to duplicate the Archive Via Rename feature… until now. It works fine in my minimal testing so far, although Apple’s over-reliance on filename extensions (as opposed to the hidden metadata of classic type and creator codes) in Mac OS X means you must confirm rename actions that affect the filename extension. For those of us accustomed (or addicted) to Archive Via Rename from before, the extra dialog is annoying, but for those new to the feature it’s actually a helpful confirmation.

That’s because Archive Via Rename, unlike every other component of StuffIt Deluxe, acts directly on the file or folder you’re renaming. So, if you compress a file using Archive Via Rename, the original file is replaced by the StuffIt archive of that file. And similarly, if you expand an archive in this manner, the original archive disappears, to be replaced by its contents. That’s often what you want, but for those times you want to keep your original and archive separate, use another approach in StuffIt Deluxe.

Two final notes. You can turn Archive Via Rename on and off via a new StuffIt AVR preferences pane in System Preferences. The manual says StuffIt AVR will be off by default, but that wasn’t true for me. It’s also necessary to adjust the Finder preferences to select "Always show file extensions" for Archive Via Rename to work. Theoretically, StuffIt AVR does this for you, but I had to select that option manually.

StuffIt Archive Assistant — The new StuffIt Archive Assistant is designed to give people a simple backup utility that takes advantage of StuffIt’s tight compression. It can store backup archives on any mounted volume (including your iDisk), on recordable CD or DVD, or on an FTP site, and you can schedule it to run on specific days of the week at particular times.

Unfortunately, StuffIt Archive Assistant isn’t particularly good for real backups. You can back up only your home folder, or one or more of the default folders inside it, but not any arbitrary folder, much less the entire Mac. Each time you run a backup task, it creates a new StuffIt archive containing all the files in the source folder, rather than adding just files that have changed. It can either create a new time-stamped archive on each run or replace the previous archive (useful for saving space on an iDisk, but potentially dangerous otherwise).

The real utility of StuffIt Archive Assistant comes in burning an archive to recordable CD or DVD, automatically creating segments for archives that span discs. You could use it to create a set of archive discs several times each year to supplement a regular backup strategy. Or, you might use it to back up particularly important files to a remote FTP site (being able to encrypt archives would be helpful in such a scenario) as a secondary offsite backup.

Other New Features — Aladdin also enhanced StuffIt Deluxe in smaller ways, including faster compression. All the StuffIt tools now support .cab (Cabinet archives) used by Windows installers and .yenc (yEncode) files often used for binaries in Usenet newsgroups. Many of StuffIt Deluxe’s components now offer HTML help as well.

If you use Microsoft Word, Adobe Photoshop, or Adobe Illustrator, Aladdin now includes plug-ins for those programs that give them direct access to StuffIt’s capabilities. For instance, once you install the Word plug-in (check the manual for instructions), you can save the current document as a StuffIt archive, open an archived document, or stuff and mail the current document. This integration should help some users avoid multiple-step tasks when sharing large files via the Internet. Aladdin plans to add support for other applications in the future.

DropStuff Improvements — DropStuff 8.0 features two helpful changes. First, if you launch DropStuff itself, its window provides a checkbox that lets you encrypt archives created by dropping files or folders on the window. Also new in that window is a pop-up menu that lets you choose between StuffIt’s two main compression formats.

Even more useful, if you hold down Control and Option when dropping a folder on DropStuff, it presents a Find File-like interface for selecting precisely which files should be added to the archive. This feature isn’t available in DropZip or DropTar, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Aladdin add it later.

Upgrading — Some of the components in the StuffIt Deluxe package are available separately, making for a somewhat complex purchase and upgrade scenario. The StuffIt Deluxe 8.0 package contains everything; new copies cost $80, with upgrades from previous versions of either StuffIt Deluxe or StuffIt Standard Edition at $30. StuffIt Standard Edition 8.0, which should appear soon, includes the latest versions of DropStuff, DropZip, and DropTar; pricing hasn’t yet been set. The free StuffIt Expander 8.0 will also appear soon (it only adds support for .cab and .yenc files); in the past you download it with StuffIt Standard Edition.

<http://www.stuffit.com/mac/>

PayBITS: Did Adam’s coverage of StuffIt Deluxe help you better

manage your files? Consider sending him a few bucks via PayBITS!

<https://www.paypal.com/xclick/ business=ace%40tidbits.com>

Read more about PayBITS: <http://www.tidbits.com/paybits/>


Alex Hoffman No comments

TiVo Series2 Improves on Original

I’ve been carrying around a dirty secret for a couple of years now. When I wrote a TidBITS article about Netflix, the DVD rental service I had used and loved for years, I had already stopped using it. (See "Worthy Web Sites: Get Your Kicks with Netflix" in TidBITS-604). Netflix is great, but TiVo is better. Shortly after getting a TiVo DVR (Digital Video Recorder), my wife and I stopped needing to rent DVDs. Essentially, everything you’ve heard about TiVo is true (see "Dominate Your TV" in TidBITS-594 for more on TiVo). It is that good. So good, in fact, that when we moved this spring to a bigger place, we bought a new TiVo Series2 model, which features a degree of integration between it and our Macs. Buying a second TiVo also enabled us to have one on each television in our house.

<https://tidbits.com/getbits.acgi?tbart=06622>

<https://tidbits.com/getbits.acgi?tbser=1204>

The Appeal of TiVo — To summarize quickly, a DVR records television shows like a well programmed VCR, but onto a large hard disk instead of onto removable tapes. You can program it to record particular channels at specific times or to record every occurrence of a show. You can even instruct it to record a show, but to skip reruns so your disk doesn’t fill up with multiple copies of syndicated episodes. It keeps all of these recordings until you delete them, or until the disk space fills up, at which point the TiVo deletes the oldest ones. You also can pause live TV, or rewind or fast-forward through live or recorded shows. To borrow a tagline from a classic show, the TiVo Series2 is better than it was before. Better. Stronger. Faster.

<http://www.tivo.com/>

Our new TiVo 2 Series DVR looks rather different than our old one. It’s almost a third smaller in size than the old one, but to my eyes it looks even smaller; the new case is 2 inches (5.1 cm) narrower, 2.5 inches (6.4 cm) shallower, and 0.5 inch (1.3 cm) shorter than the old one. The Series2 has a rectangular IR sensor instead of the HAL-like eye at the center of the old TiVo. The remote control signal feedback LED now sits just below the power indicator.

The Series2’s new remote is a little longer and includes a few more buttons that control other television set features (input source, for example). The Info, Live TV, and Guide functions, previously controlled by the one Live TV button on the old remote, now have their own dedicated buttons. The new remote also can be set up to control two separate DVRs, with a switch to select which unit is being controlled. If you feel you need the new remote for your existing TiVo, it costs $30 online in the Accessories section of the TiVo Store.

<http://store.tivo.com/>

The Series2 also gains a speed boost by way of a PowerPC processor inside that runs at 50 MHz instead of 27 MHz. This does not make recording or playback faster, but it does make the TiVo interface a little zippier (MPEG encoding and decoding are handled by specialized chips just for those purposes). I noticed that the TiVo is more responsive to commands from the remote and doesn’t suffer from the noticeable lags that can result when many programs are recorded. The faster processor probably comes in most handy after the nightly television schedule updates are downloaded and incorporated, or when season pass priorities are changed.

However, the most important hardware change is also the most interesting for Mac users: the addition of two USB ports. While you wouldn’t want to attach a printer to a TiVo, the USB ports enable you to network your device using a Series2 network adapter. The TiVo Store sells both conventional 10/100 Ethernet adapters and wireless (AirPort, or 802.11b) adapters for $45 and $65, respectively. For me, wireless was definitely the way to go. It allows the TiVo to use our AirPort network for its daily calls in place of requiring me to install a phone jack near my TiVo. Be warned, however, that the TiVo still needs a phone line for the Guided Setup, both initially and for any subsequent cable provider changes.

To take full advantage of networking your TiVo, you can purchase the Home Media Option for a one-time fee of $100. With this software upgrade, you can schedule programs remotely, view programs in multiple rooms without recording the shows on each TiVo, view digital photos, and listen to digital music stored on your Mac.

Remote Scheduling — Have you had someone at work tell you about their favorite show, but forget to add it to the TiVo’s To Do schedule when you get home? Now you can queue the show from the office.

This feature doesn’t quite fulfill the ideal of accessing your TiVo over the Web as if you were sitting in front of your television, but it’s a step in that direction. You can log into TiVo’s Web site and add programs to your TiVo’s To Do list. The next time the TiVo makes its daily call for program updates, the instruction you made online is transferred to the device. However, that call might not happen until tomorrow, so you had better take care of this way ahead of time. If you use a network adapter, you can set the daily call to happen a few times an hour instead of once daily, making it a more useful feature – but just barely.

When online, you cannot see what is already scheduled on your TiVo, so you can only choose to make the new request either the highest or the lowest priority. You also have no way to see what other programs you might be overriding. For this reason, and because I rarely decide so late to record something when I am not at home, I’ve only used this function when I was testing it.

Multi-Room Viewing — If you have multiple TiVo Series2 DVRs, each with the additional Home Media Option, all registered to one household, you can share recording between units. This means that a program recorded on one unit can be watched on another unit. It sounds pretty good, but there are a couple of caveats.

I’ve already mentioned the first one: sharing works only with new Series2 units. There is no way to interoperate with an old TiVo, so unfortunately I can’t try it out. And although my neighbor has a new Series2, it is registered to his household, so we couldn’t try it out. It really is limited.

But if you do have multiple Series2 devices, and have the Home Media Option on at least two of them, you can share programs. Yet it still is not as simple would be ideal. Programs must be copied from one unit to another in order to be watched. Even with 100Base-T Ethernet, this takes time. And if the program is deleted on the first unit before the copying is completed, you are out of luck.

<http://www.tivo.com/4.9.7.1.asp>

Clearly, TiVo needs to work the kinks out of this feature (a task no doubt complicated by the spectre of movie industry lawyers). Like remote scheduling, it is just not as useful as it might seem.

Music & Photos — However there is a good use of the Home Media Option, which I’m using right now: the Series2 can stream music and photos using the iTunes 4 and iPhoto 2 databases on your Mac. In order to do this, you must install the free TiVo Desktop software on your computer.

<http://www.tivo.com/4.9.4.1.asp>

The TiVo displays the playlists and albums that you’ve already created on your Mac. You cannot create new playlists or search for photos or songs on the TiVo, but you can take advantage of the better group seating of your living room. If you have a decent sound system connected to your television, you can use the TiVo as a music jukebox.

The main TiVo menu includes a new entry labeled Music & Photos. Selecting it brings you to a screen which lists every computer sharing music and/or photos with the TiVo Desktop software. The Home Media Option software uses Apple’s Rendezvous technology to locate shared computers on the network.

<http://www.apple.com/macosx/jaguar/ rendezvous.html>

<http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2003/jan/ 07rendezvous.html>

Once you select a computer for music, you can go through an alphabetical list of artists, albums or genres, but for me, even scrolling down to Cream takes way too many Page Down presses on the remote. The only practical approach is to search through existing iTunes playlists.

In addition to the music and photos shared from your own computers, the TiVo lists two additional categories: Photos from TiVo and Music from TiVo. The content of these seem to be updated regularly; Photos from TiVo currently includes things like Vintage Ads, Animals, Seasons, and Space. Music from TiVo includes songs from The Wallflowers, 50 Cent and No Doubt, among others. One assumes that this feature is supplying TiVo Inc. with another revenue stream. Everything I have bought from the company has been at a flat fee, and they need revenue streams to stay in business.

TiVo Desktop — Perhaps the coolest thing about all of this is how easy it is to use with a Mac. The TiVo Desktop for Windows software is a 7.8 MB download, while the Mac version (Mac OS X only) is only 177K. Since Rendezvous is built in to Mac OS X, and since iTunes and iPhoto handle most of the user interaction, all that is left is a TiVo Desktop preferences pane. A start/stop button turns the service on and off, and you can decide yourself whether to share music and photos. You can also choose to share your entire library or just selected playlists and/or albums.

<http://customersupport.tivo.com/tivoknowbase/ root/public/tv1159.htm>

By contrast, the Windows version of the TiVo Desktop is much more complicated. There, you can select folders or individual MP3 or JPEG files. Rather than playlists, it shares folders. At a time when too many companies refuse to investigate Macintosh versions of their software/drivers, TiVo has done an amazing job of leveraging Apple’s work to give their own Macintosh customers a better experience than their Windows customers.

<http://customersupport.tivo.com/tivoknowbase/ root/public/tv2031.htm>

Wishing for Groups — Other than networking and the Home Media Option, there aren’t many differences between the older TiVo models and the newer Series2. My wife, Devjani, wants folders in the Now Playing list. Rather than a list of individual recordings, all programs of a given title could be grouped together. All of our Six Feet Under episodes would be grouped together, regardless of when they were recorded. All of my America’s Test Kitchen episodes would appear in one folder, even though they’d be recorded from two different Season Passes (because they are from two different channels). TiVo Suggestions could even appear in their own folder at the end of the list – however, if any of those match any recordings that we set up intentionally, they would appear in a folder together. These folders would also appear in the chronological list at the point of the most recent recording, meaning that the Six Feet Under folder appears at the beginning of June, the date of the season finale. This could be a handy little feature. (Did you know that the original Mac OS didn’t have real folders? TiVo has always been Mac-like, and now we have support for Rendezvous, AirPort, iTunes, and iPhoto. How long until it becomes iTiVo?)

<http://customersupport.tivo.com/tivoknowbase/ root/public/tv2001.htm?>

<http://developer.apple.com/documentation/macos8 /Legacy/OpenDoc/opendoc.html>

<https://tidbits.com/getbits.acgi?tbart=06765>

The Bottom Line — Now we have a TiVo Series2 DVR in the living room which does everything the old TiVo did and also plays MP3s from our Macs, exactly as we wanted it to. However, it isn’t cheap. A new TiVo Series2 costs $200 for a 40-hour model or $300 for an 80 hour unit. A service subscription (required to access the channel programming data) costs either $13 per month or as a one-time fee of $300 that covers the product’s lifetime. Add to that $100 for the Home Media Option and $45 or $65 for a network adapter. If you want to upgrade the hard drive, add a few hundred more dollars for a new drive and the miscellaneous hardware you’ll need from a company like Weaknees (see "Upgrading the TiVo" in TidBITS-644 for more information). That said, we found the upgrade to be worth it – now our TiVo can store 150 hours of programming.

<http://www.weaknees.com/>

<https://tidbits.com/getbits.acgi?tbart=06918>

But despite the cost, believe everything you have heard about how great TiVo is. We have gotten more out of it than we would have gotten out of a new computer. Or two new computers. Whether you love movies (catch them to record even when you don’t know that they’re on), episodic television (never miss a show) or sports (watch replays when you want to, and then catch up by fast-forwarding through the commercials), TiVo changes the way that you watch television, and the Home Media Option is the best way I’ve seen to play MP3s on your living room’s sound system.

So, we are pretty much set, until a forthcoming HDTiVo arrives…

[Alex Hoffman is currently a high school English teacher in the New York City public schools. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.]

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Hot Topics in TidBITS Talk/22-Sep-03

Boring headers for Eudora — For those who want to eliminate unnecessary headers in Eudora, here’s a thread for suggesting specific headers to hide. (11 messages)

<https://tidbits.com/getbits.acgi?tlkthrd=2067>

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<https://tidbits.com/getbits.acgi?tlkthrd=2068>

Eudora Filter Priority — Eudora’s filter feature remains creaky, but here are some tips for working with them. (4 messages)

<https://tidbits.com/getbits.acgi?tlkthrd=2064>

Updating Linksys gateways from a Mac — Readers suggest alternate methods of updating Linksys gateway firmware without using a Windows PC. (4 messages)

<https://tidbits.com/getbits.acgi?tlkthrd=2069>