Tonya was one for two last week. Her expose of space aliens calling technical support brought in reprint requests from three continents (and yes, please feel free to reprint that article as long as you credit Tonya and TidBITS fully, and please send us a copy of the publication - use the address at the end of the issue). At the same time, her article on the AV Macs had a few mistakes, which we correct below. We also hope to have some detailed first hand reports soon, which should help you decide for yourself about these fascinating Macs. Hey, I want one.
AV Corrections -- First, we accidently flipped the code names. The Centris 660AV was originally known as the Tempest, and the Quadra 840AV was known as the Cyclone. The GeoPort Telecom adapter isn't bundled, costs about $130, and based on early reports, hasn't appeared on shelves quite yet. Second, although the GeoPort architecture will handle ISDN, modems, and other "telecom" type things, it isn't how the Mac will connect to Ethernet networks, as we implied. The DAV (Digital Audio Video) connector is an internal connector much like a NuBus slot. It's designed not to connect directly to VCRs and video cameras (which attach via standard composite and S-Video input and output jacks on the back panel) but to NuBus cards so that a card can tap into the audio and video data streams within the machine. Uses for this might include JPEG compression hardware. Finally, Michael Shannon <firstname.lastname@example.org> clarifies the method of recording from an AV Mac. "Actually, you MUST have a TV connected to do any kind of composite or S-video recording. The built-in video can only drive one display at a time. Therefore, to record video you must hook the AV to a VCR and then the VCR to a TV. There is no way to watch the display on the computer's monitor while recording."
Book News -- I haven't completed my book about connecting to the Internet from a Mac, but the major creative work is done, and I'm finishing the back matter now. I think this book will be extremely cool, and I hope to reprint some of the text here, although it will take some rewording to remove screen shot references. I have full chapters on the four major ways to gain Internet access - email through a BBS or commercial service like CompuServe, terminal access on a Unix machine, UUCP access using the three main UUCP programs for the Mac, and finally MacTCP access, expressly covering SLIP usage as well. The contents of the disk may surprise you (and I don't want to say anything concrete until all the papers have been signed), and for those not already on the Internet, there will be an immediate access method.
Where's my Newton? -- If your daily newspaper offers a comics page, you may have guessed that Doonesbury author Garry Trudeau already has his Newton MessagePad, and you may be jealous! Not to worry; even though virtually all dealers in the "regional roll-out areas" such as Boston, New York, and San Francisco have run out of MessagePads, and some early purchasers have managed to resell their units for huge profits, the nationwide roll-out appears to be on schedule for Labor Day. According to Mark H. Anbinder, several dealers have reported hearing from Apple that they will receive their introductory shipments this week.