close this bookTidBITS#503   19991025
View the documentMailBITS/25-Oct-99
View the documentMac OS 9 Installation & Compatibility
View the documentMajor Features in Mac OS 9
View the documentFoot Notes

MailBITS/25-Oct-99

Now Menus Reincarnated as Action Menus -- Power On Software has released Action Menus 1.0, a new component of the company's Action Utilities control panel that provides functionality equivalent to the defunct Now Menus (see "Living in the Now - Now Utilities 5.0, Newer and Better" in TidBITS-248 and "Now Utilities Turns 6-Point-Something" in TidBITS-345). Action Menus makes the Apple menu hierarchical, like Apple Menu Options, and you can flexibly rearrange items within the Apple menu. In the Applications menu, each application hierarchically displays its current windows and recently opened documents. You can also create additional custom menus that show recently used applications (with their recent documents hierarchically attached), recent documents, recent folders (hierarchical), the frontmost application's windows and recent documents, current volumes and servers (hierarchical). Custom menus accept drag & drop of Finder icons: drag into a menu to add an item to the menu, drag into a folder to move or copy an item to that folder, and drag onto an application to open the item with that application. Custom menus can open, quit, or get info on multiple items simultaneously; they can open either an item or its containing folder. You can also modify keyboard shortcuts for all menu items on the fly. Unfortunately, Action Menus does not provide a desktop pop-up menu and is incompatible with Kensington MouseWorks' desktop pop-up menu option. Action Menus requires a color-capable Mac and System 7.5.3 or later; it's available as a 30-day demo (2.2 MB download) or for online purchase at $30. [MAN]

<http://www.poweronsw.com/site2/html/products/am.html>
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Microsoft Outlook Express 5.0 Ships -- Microsoft has released Outlook Express 5.0, a major upgrade to the company's free Internet email and Usenet news client. New features aimed at simplifying Outlook Express for novice users include an Account setup wizard, improved attachment handling, interface changes, address auto-complete, a Mailing List Manager, and a Junk Mail Filter. Microsoft has also added features aimed at heavy email users, including custom fields in the Address Book, message histories, support for using the Spacebar to scroll through messages, enhanced IMAP support, scheduled events, and an Advanced Find feature that supports multiple criteria. However, users with a great deal of stored mail should be aware that Outlook Express 5.0 now stores all messages in a single mail database, which makes for a single point of failure (make sure to read the Read Me for instructions on rebuilding the mail database in case of corruption) and forces inefficient backups. Outlook Express also includes integration with HotMail for email messages (but not contacts) and can synchronize contacts (but not email) with Palm devices. Outlook Express 5.0 requires a PowerPC-based Macintosh with Mac OS 8.1 or later. The program is a 12.5 MB download. [ACE]

<http://www.microsoft.com/mac/oe/>

iDo Script Scheduler 1.1 -- Sophisticated Circuits has released version 1.1 of its iDo Script Scheduler, a system enhancement that enables users to schedule execution of AppleScript scripts. iDo Script Scheduler debuted as a free extra on the Mac OS 8.6 CD-ROM and on Apple's AppleScript site; it could schedule up to three scripts for automatic execution. (See "Putting URL Access Scripting to Work" in TidBITS-481.) Version 1.1 still offers a free "lite" mode that's compatible with Mac OS 9's multiple users feature, enabling different users of the same Mac to schedule up to three scripts for automatic execution; iDo Script Scheduler can also pass arbitrary parameters to scripts when it runs them. For $25, you can upgrade version 1.1 to an "enhanced" version that allows for an unlimited number of scheduled scripts and can execute scripts at system idle time or in response to a hot key. The iDo Script Scheduler is a great add-on for serious AppleScript users, particularly under Mac OS 9, which enables AppleScript scripts to connect to remote file servers and applications over the Internet. [GD]

<http://www.sophisticated.com/products/ido/ido_ss.html>
<http://www.apple.com/applescript/>
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Poll Results: Appeal of Digital Video Editing -- We're getting together this week for a staff lunch of eating our hats, since none of us expected that digital video editing would be nearly as popular with TidBITS readers as last week's poll indicated. We figured you for a 7-bit ASCII kind of crowd, but in fact 55 percent of respondents claimed they found the iMac DV's digital video editing capabilities "very appealing," with another 20 percent answering "moderately" appealing, and the rest signing on to "a little" and to "not at all." TidBITS Talk participants foreshadowed the poll results, offering a variety of experiences and reasons why digital video editing's time has finally come. The proof will be in the video pudding, though, and we'll be watching to see how heavily the iMac DVs are actually used for digital video editing. [ACE]

<http://db.tidbits.com/getbits.acgi?tlkthrd=814>

Poll Preview: Mac OS 9 Upgrade Plans -- You'll read about Mac OS 9's major features and compatibility in this issue, and our Mac OS 9 coverage will continue next week. The question is, are you an early adopter who plans to buy into Mac OS 9's new features and $99 price tag now, or are you the cautious sort who plans to wait to hear reports from the field? Visit our home page and register your opinion! [ACE]

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