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MailBITS/21-Feb-94

As the ides of March approach, so does the deadline for my next book. It's unlike any other Internet book that I've seen in that it's non-technical and provides a look at Internet life in order to show and not tell what the Internet is all about. The entire book is written in dialogue form with my good friend Bill Dickson, and doesn't attempt to tell you how to do much of anything.

Bill: Hi folks! But if you pay attention, you might pick up a surprising amount of information.

Adam: We want to convey the concept, the Zeitgeist if you will, of the Internet, without bogging the book down with technical jargon. I enjoy reading James Herriot's books about being a veterinarian in Great Britain, but I have no desire to be a vet - I just want to vicariously live the conceit of Herriot's world.

Bill: The Internet is our world, and we come at it from different viewpoints. I like to wander aimlessly in the World-Wide Web, whereas Adam searches WAIS and Veronica. I've spent plenty of time in IRC and various MUDs -

Adam: And I have a life.

Bill: Hey!

Adam: The point is that we want the book to be enjoyable, personable, and the answer to the question we hear so frequently, "So what do you really do on the Internet anyway?"

Bill: In any event, since our deadline draws near, if you can avoid sending unnecessary email to Adam, that would be great. He spends a lot of time replying to email these days.

Adam: Yes, thanks, and just so you know the kind of hours we're putting in at the moment, Tonya is also finishing a book for the end of February. The book is the ultimate guide to Microsoft Word (it explains how to actually make Word do something for you rather than cheerfully documenting each and every menu item in gory detail). Busy is not the word for it, but we don't foresee any problems putting out TidBITS thanks to people like Mark Anbinder and our other contributors. So please bear with us until the middle of March (the books should be out a month or two later), and then all should return to normal.

Bill: I'm not even going to touch that one.

A new radio talk show about computers called "OnLine Tonight with David Lawrence" debuts this Sunday, 27-Feb-94 "via the ABC Satellite System." I know zilch about radio, so I'm not sure how that will help you find it in your area, but the time will be 8:00 PM Eastern time and 5:00 PM Pacific time, so I'll just go low-tech and dial through all the local stations. The demo tape I heard indicates that OnLine Tonight may not quite compete with NPR's Car Talk (David's going to hate me for saying that), but will certainly be far more fun and interesting than any of the boring suit-filled computer radio shows I've heard in the past. Although David is a self-described Mac fanatic, the show is cross-platform and co-host Rita Daniels covers PC questions from callers. Most interestingly, if you don't want to use the telephone, you can ask questions online as well via America Online or CompuServe. No word if they've got an IRC channel set up yet for Internet folks.

David Lawrence -- oltdavid@aol.com -- 75300.2460@compuserve.com

CD Updates -- Two popular CDs packed with thousands of files have recently been updated. AMUG (the Arizona Macintosh Users' Group) shipped BBS in a Box X for $119 ($45 upgrade), and Pacific Hi Tech just released the third edition of the Info-Mac CD-ROM for $49.95 (previous owners get a $20 discount), which holds many of the files stored on <sumex-aim.stanford.edu>. If you've had trouble accessing FTP sites due to the load, or if you're setting up a BBS and want a ready-made file library, check out these CDs. Both CDs reportedly have a conflict between the Dataware software used to create the CDs and the drivers for NEC CD-ROM drives. The workaround for the moment is to use a third-party generic driver, such as Charismac or FWB's CD-ROM Toolkit.

AMUG -- 602/553-8966 -- 602/553-8771 (fax) -- amug@aol.com
Pacific Hi-Tech -- 801/278-2042 -- 801/278-2666 (fax) -- 71175.3152@compuserve.com

Duo Battery Patch -- Apple has released a patch for the Duo 210, 230, and 250 (the 270c is not affected) that reportedly solves problems with the Duo not charging its internal battery. The problem apparently cropped up with the release of the PowerBook Duo Enabler, the version that Apple currently recommends for all Duos. According to Apple, we can look forward to the next PowerBook Duo Enabler release incorporating the patch. You can find the patch on AppleLink or on the Internet at:

ftp://ftp.austin.apple.com/pub/mac/Duo_Battery_Patch.sea.hqx