No TidBITS Next Week -- TidBITS will be taking a bit of a breather next week, so you won't see our next issue until 09-Mar-98. In part, we're taking a break because we're operating with about half our usual staff, but the time should also allow us to catch up on a bunch of administrative and other behind-the-scenes tasks. As always, you'll be able to reach us via email at <firstname.lastname@example.org>, and we'll be adding the latest news and other items of interest to TidBITS Updates on our Web site. [GD]
French Mailing List Available -- Thanks to the assiduous efforts of the French translation team, a separate mailing list is now available for people who want to receive TidBITS issues via email in French. To subscribe, send email to <email@example.com>; French versions of TidBITS are also available via the Web. We'd like to thank the all-volunteer French translation team - as well as the folks who work on the other TidBITS translations! - for the outstanding work they do, and for making TidBITS available to a much wider audience. [GD]
Eyes on Iomega -- Iomega Corporation has released version 5.5.1 of its Iomega software, a 2.45 MB download which includes a disk driver system extension for Zip and Jaz drives, Iomega Guest (which loads the disk driver into RAM so the device can be used without installing the extension), plus associated utilities, help files, and documentation. The software supports the ZipPlus and 2 GB Jaz drives, enables Zip and Jaz disks to be initialized as Extended Format (HFS Plus) volumes under Mac OS 8.1, and adds diagnostic options to the Iomega Tools utility. Iomega has also posted a brief tech info page about the "Zip Drive Click of Death," which gets its name from repeated clicking noises made by some damaged drives. The problem can damage both media and drives, and Iomega has reportedly begun active investigation of the issue.
In other news, a settlement has been reached in a class-action lawsuit over the quality of Iomega's tech support and for charging customers excessively for long phone wait times; the settlement would require Iomega to improve its technical support and support options significantly. Iomega is still preparing to defend against a different class-action lawsuit charging that company executives violated federal securities laws. [JLC]
BBEdit Lite 4.1 Gains Weight -- Bare Bones Software's freeware text editor BBEdit Lite isn't as light as you might expect. BBEdit Lite 4.1 was released this week, featuring a number of low-level improvements that make this powerful application a close cousin to the feature-laden commercial BBEdit 4.5. Now derived from the same code and resource bases as the commercial release, BBEdit Lite improves overall performance and reliability, provides Balloon Help for most interface elements, supports search strings up to 512 characters, and stores Grep search patterns in a separate file to be stored or shared with other versions of BBEdit. BBEdit Lite 4.1 also automatically opens at startup files stored in a new "BBEdit Startup Items" folder. Although professional programmers and HTML coders will probably opt for the full BBEdit 4.5 package, the Lite version provides all the functionality that many people need from a text editor. BBEdit Lite is a 772K (MacBinary) or 1 MB (BinHex) download. [JLC]
Personal Web Sharing -- Though it's been somewhat overlooked in recent hoopla regarding Apple and Claris, Apple recently released Personal Web Sharing 1.5, an update to the small-footprint Web server that ships as part of Mac OS 8. Personal Web Sharing 1.5 adds support for aliases, HTTP file uploading, automatic binhexing of downloaded files, and a Personal Web Sharing control strip module. The release also adds some features to the Web Sharing control panel, including the ability to set the server's port number, keep an activity log, and directly configure CGIs and (importantly) MIME types. These new features are aimed more at savvy Web users than casual Internet users, but I've found Apple's Personal Web Sharing to be a surprisingly robust and reliable little server, and the new capabilities are welcome additions. Personal Web Sharing requires Mac OS 8; the download is 1.5 MB. [GD]