It's been an interesting few days. Last Thursday, my main Mac - a Centris 660AV - started to experience weird errors and crashes. I tried basic fixes first, repairing minor problems with Norton Disk Doctor and rebuilding desktops, but the problems worsened. Around midnight I gave up on recovering the drive, and focused on recovering the one file that would have been hell to recreate - the third part of the Bookmark Managers article. At 1:40 AM, I managed to recover the file, so I went to bed. Sleep merely refreshed me for Friday, when I tediously reformatted and tested the drive with different formatting applications, only to confirm my 1 GB drive was toast. A quick call to APS late on Friday afternoon started a 2 GB drive (and a matching 2 GB drive and CD-R burner I need for the next edition of Internet Starter Kit for Macintosh) on their way to me for Saturday delivery. The drives arrived as promised, and I spent Sunday reformatting, repartitioning, and restoring from our nightly DAT backup with Retrospect. Luckily, all of those things take a long time but almost no attention, so I enjoyed the nice weather on Sunday, and (in the first major wildlife sighting since moving) met a bear while running in the woods behind our house. I'd like to thank the folks at APS for service above and beyond the call of duty, and also the folks at Dantz for Retrospect, which saved the day once again. [ACE]
More Bookmarks than Books -- I've written another part to the bookmark managers mini-series that began in TidBITS-323 and continued in TidBITS-324. We didn't have space in this issue to include Part III, but we do plan to run the article next week. [ACE]
Eudora Pro 3.0 Beta Available -- Qualcomm has released a public beta of Eudora Pro 3.0 for owners of Eudora Pro 2.x. I've been using earlier test releases for a month or so now, and find the added features extremely welcome. My favorites include much-enhanced filters that can automatically forward or reply to email, a Reply With menu item that makes boilerplate replies easier, a completely new rich text editing environment that's not limited to 32K (and supports drag & drop), and the capability to launch URLs (which display in blue) by double-clicking them. Other features abound, including multiple signatures, an improved Address Book, an improved Find dialog, and a configurable toolbar. As usual, some of the best parts of Eudora are the little touches, such as the feature that lets you can Option-click any cell in a mailbox to select all messages matching the value of that cell (useful for selecting all message from a certain person or with a certain subject). I also like being able to set mailboxes to group subjects, which is essential for handling high-volume mailing lists. If you use Eudora Pro 2.x and don't mind using stable beta software, take a look. [ACE]
Apple Unveils Four New Power Macs, Upgrade Cards -- Today Apple unveiled four new PowerPC 604-based Power Macs: the 9500/150, 8500/150, and 8500/132 (essentially faster versions of current 9500 and 8500 models), plus the Power Mac 7600/120. Apple is gearing the Power Mac 7600/120 at business and education users, and claims the machine runs up to twice as fast as the current 7500/100. All these new machines support processor speeds up to 200 MHz. Prices range from $4,800 for the 9500/150 down to $3,000 for the 7600/120. Apple also introduced a 120 MHz version of the Power Mac 7200 starting at $1,900.
Apple announced it expects to have 120 MHz and 132 MHz PowerPC 604-based upgrade cards for the Power Mac 7500/100, as well as logic board upgrades for the Power Mac 8500 and 7200 by this May, although the logic board upgrades will not come with a processor card, which presumably must be purchased separately. [GD]
New All-In-One Macs for Education -- Last week Apple announced the Power Macintosh 5260/100 and 5400/120, which are specifically targeted at the education market. Both systems are all-in-one designs with a built-in monitor, quad-speed CD-ROM drive, 16 MB of RAM, and a PowerPC 603e processor. The 5400/120 also features PCI slots, a video input card and video-out connector, and an expansion bay for an optional TV tuner. The 5260/100 is available now for $1,700; the 5400/120 should be available in mid-May for about $2,300. [GD]
Apple PC Compatibility Cards for Power Macs -- Apple has officially announced its next generation of PC Compatibility cards, designed to provide Windows and MS-DOS capability to PCI Power Macs. Two versions will be available: the 12-inch card sports a 100 MHz Pentium, and the 7-inch version uses an "entry level" 100 MHz 586 chip (a third-party x86-compatible chip) that's roughly equivalent to a 75 MHz Pentium in performance. Both cards incorporate an ATI Mach64 video controller, game port, 16-bit Sound Blaster Pro support, and 8 MB RAM (upgradable to 72 MB). Prices for the stand-alone cards will range from $800 to $1,050; Apple is also introducing a Power Mac 7200/120 PC Compatible with either a 586 or Pentium card for $2,600 to $2,800 (a substantially better value). Both the cards and the 7200-based systems should be available in June. [GD]
Free Email, but not for Us -- D. E. Shaw & Co., L.P. today launched Juno, a nationwide free email service sponsored by advertiser dollars, claiming the model used by free TV and radio stations ought to work on the Internet. The custom software and service will be free to the user; the software will display ads tailored to the user's "member profile" while he or she reads and writes mail, and while messages are transferred via modem. (Users who aren't within a local call of about 200 dialup numbers will be able to use an 800 number at no cost.) The new service currently lacks file attachment capability, but more importantly, it lacks a Macintosh version of the free software, which is required to access the service. The company claims it will consider developing a Mac version if there's sufficient interest.
D. E. Shaw & Co -- 800/654-5866 -- <firstname.lastname@example.org>