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THE NEW MACBOOK: TORTURE-TESTED, REVIEWED, AND RATED!

SPECIAL REPORT: 13 AFFORDABLE MICROSOFT WORD ALTERNATIVES 120

2006

AUG

CREATIVE
EYE-POPPING HOW-TOS

A SB IDE AM FR O THE S PR O

E T T E R

M A C H I N E .

A

B E T T E R

M A ¬ A Z I N E .

PROJECTS!
Craft a Multiphoto Portrait Make a Stylized Illustration
Own Ringtones B Fix Mac OS X’s Finder Foibles B Run Windows Safely (Really!)

B Create Your

PLUS: HOW TO…

Create a Perfect Panorama

…and more!

COMPOSE LIKE AN AUDIO ENGINEER

Pump Up GarageBand with the Power of Potent Plug-ins!

Right

Right

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AUGUST2006
a better machine. a better magazine.

NO.120•VOLUME11•ISSUE8

features
Inner Artist
18 Free Your
We’ve got nine easy-to-do creative projects that show you how to enhance your digital photos, create and manage fonts, and use your scanner to capture artistic images worthy of a gallery wall. by Mark Rosenthal

28 Take GarageBand Out
GarageBand is capable of producing stunning compositions right out of the box, but when you enhance its powers with potent plug-ins, the sonic sky’s the limit. by David Biedny

of the Garage

34 Entertaining Intelligence

how to
60 Ask Us 62 Fix Your Finder

This month’s Field Guide on home-entertainment terms will help you tell SED from SXRD, know the difference between EDTV and SDTV, and distinguish 1080i from 1080p. by Logan Kugler

Did you know that every Mac comes standard with the ultimate troubleshooter? It’s also got built-in disk-maintenance utilities, a RAWimage processor, the most versatile jukebox on the planet, and a completely configurable Ethernet port (or two). Now you know.

64 Create Your Own Ringtones
Plain-Jane celly ringtones are this year’s déclassé “You’ve got mail.” You can create and use your own ’tones on many phones. by Cathy Lu

If you think the Mac OS Finder is flawless, you’re one of a vanishing few. Exercise your options for file finding, browsing, and carousing. by Niko Coucouvanis

70 Run Windows Safely
A little common sense can keep your Windowsrocking Mac surprisingly safe and secure. by Niko Coucouvanis

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August 2006

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CONTENTS

a better machine. a better magazine.

09 Editors’ Page 10
Get Info

42

Do Macs make us more creative, or do we use Macs because we’re creative already? Hmmm...

46

Apple unveils the MacBook, its new Intel-based iBook replacement, plus a sparkling new store in the city that never sleeps. Also: Apple and Nike get together, what to do when your Mac stalls during startup, and a close look at the performance issues with the Universal version of Apple’s Final Cut Studio.

37

38 13-inch 1.83GHz MacBook notebook Mac 42 17-inch MacBook Pro notebook Mac 42 Cordless Desktop S 530 Laser for Mac
keyboard and mouse

Reviews

53 40 41 49 43 50 49 47 44 47 48 46 50 52 57 56 56 55 56 55 57

CyberTablet 8600 tablet Evolt E-330 SLR camera Final Draft AV screenwriting software LX Desk Mount Notebook Arm notebook stand MemoryMiner photo organizer Mercury On-The-Go FireWire 800+USB 2.0
portable hard drive

Micro Mini Hard Drive 8GB portable hard drive miniStack V2 external hard drive MojoWorld 3 3D-world generator mTune-N iPod nano headphones Photosmart 475 photo printer PowerShot S80 point-and-shoot camera SyncMaster 940BF LCD display ThunderDock iPod speaker stand Bullet Candy 1.0.2 shoot-em-up game review Platypus shooter game review RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Soaked! tips and tricks The Sims 2: Nightlife expansion pack review The Sims 2: Open for Business coming soon World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade coming soon The Xbox 360 and Mac Collide game news

38 40 48 44

55

Games

78

Log Out

79 Contest
Conquer cable clutter by winning a BookEndz docking station.

78 Letters
Apple’s designers face a 12-yearold challenger, Steve Jobs—or is it Jennifer Aniston?—has a donutobsessed nephew, and 59 percent of our readers pooh-pooh Windows.

80 Shut Down
Apple’s latest legal battle strikes close to home: the tragic results of a Ramones-fueled workout.

QUICK TIPS
FROM THIS MONTH’S ISSUE

SAFETY NET
Keep track of your most-recent Mac OS install disc—when disaster strikes, it’s the easiest way to put your Mac right. From Ask Us, p60.

PICK A LANE
Someday you might use antivirus software (even on your Mac); our foray into Windows taught us that using multiple antivirus kits is a bad idea. From “Run Windows Safely,” p70.

BEAM ME UP
If it seems like there’s no way to get a custom ringtone on your no-frills phone, try http://xingtone.com, which delivers ’tones to phones over the airwaves. From “Create Your Own Ringtones,” p64.

TURN DOWN THE NOISE
Point-and-shoot cameras can rarely handle the noisereduction algorithms used by professional ones. To cut down the noise in your pictures, use low ISO settings, plus adequate lighting. From Reviews, p46.

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August 2006

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CONTENTS

a better machine. a better magazine.

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On page 28 of this month’s MacAddict, we introduce you to the wild and wonderful world of GarageBand plug-ins—and to get you started, we’ve included 32 free effects plug-ins on this month’s Disc. Not content with that level of generosity, we’ve also stuffed 56 more goodies on the Disc. Pop it into your Mac and enjoy.

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the disc
DeBabelizer Pro 6 trial
Automate your repetitive image, animation, and digital video projects with this professionalgrade media manager.

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EDITORIAL EDITOR IN CHIEF Rik Myslewski MANAGING EDITOR Susie Ochs HOW-TO EDITOR Niko Coucouvanis REVIEWS EDITOR Roman Loyola INTERN Elliot Smith WEB MONKEY Nick Muerdter EPONYMEDITOR Max CONTRIBUTING EDITORS David Biedny, Joseph O. Holmes, Helmut Kobler, Cathy Lu, Steven Parke, Ian Sammis, Deborah Shadovitz, Andrew Tokuda, Michelle Victoria, Buz Zoller
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Image Tricks freeware

������������������������������� ������������������������������ BUSINESS ������������������������������������� Stacey Levy, 925-964-1205 ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER ����������������� � SOUTHWESTERN ADVERTISING DIRECTOR

BrowseBack trial
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ART ������ ���� ART DIRECTOR Mark Rosenthal ASSOCIATE ART DIRECTOR Peter Marshutz GROUP CREATIVE DIRECTOR Dan Fitzpatrick PHOTOGRAPHER Mark Madeo CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER Samantha Berg

PRODUCTION PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Richard Lesovoy PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Ryan Meith CIRCULATION CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Peter Kelly NEWSSTAND MARKETING MANAGER Bill Shewey BILLING AND RENEWAL MANAGER Betsy Wong NEWSSTAND COORDINATOR Alex Guzman FULFILLMENT MANAGER Peggy Mores DIRECT-MAIL MANAGER Stephanie Blake DIRECT MARKETING SPECIALIST Janet Amistoso
FUTURE US, INC. 4000 Shoreline Court, Suite 400, South San Francisco, CA 94080 www.futureus-inc.com PRESIDENT Jonathan Simpson-Bint VICE PRESIDENT/CFO Tom Valentino VICE PRESIDENT/CIRCULATION Holly Klingel GENERAL COUNSEL Charles Schug PUBLISHING DIRECTOR/GAMES Simon Whitcombe PUBLISHING DIRECTOR/MUSIC & TECH Steve Aaron PUBLISHING DIRECTOR/BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Dave Barrow EDITORIAL DIRECTOR/TECHNOLOGY Jon Phillips EDITORIAL DIRECTOR/MUSIC Brad Tolinski DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL SERVICES Nancy Durlester PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Richie Lesovoy Future US, Inc. is part of Future plc. Future produces carefully targeted special-interest magazines, Web sites, and events for people who share a passion. We aim to satisfy that passion by creating titles offering value for money, reliable information, smart buying advice, and which are a pleasure to read. Today we publish more than 150 magazines, 65 Web sites, and a growing number of events in the US, UK, France, and Italy. Over 100 international editions of our magazines are also published in 30 other countries across the world. Future plc is a public company quoted on the London Stock Exchange (symbol: FUTR). FUTURE PLC 30 Monmouth St., Bath, Avon, BA1 2BW, England www.futureplc.com Tel +44 1225 442244 NON-EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN: Roger Parry CHIEF EXECUTIVE: Stevie Spring GROUP FINANCE DIRECTOR: John Bowman Tel +44 1225 442244 www.futureplc.com REPRINTS: For reprints, contact Ryan Derfler, Reprint Operations Specialist, 717.399.1900 ext. 167 or email: futurenetworkusa@reprintbuyer.com SUBSCRIPTION QUERIES: Please email mcdcustserv@cdsfulfillment .com or call customer service toll-free at 888-771-6222.

AUDIO & MUSIC
Audacity 1.3.0b freeware SFX Machine Pro demo iFill 1.0 demo Roland GI-20 demo video

FUN & GAMES
Atomic Cannon 1.0 demo Avalanche Extreme 1.1 trial Kickin’ Soccer 1.0 shareware Wordsmith shareware

TechRestore demo video

PRODUCTIVITY
CDFinder 4.6 shareware Microsoft Office 2004 Test Drive OmniGraffle 4.1.1 trial OmniOutliner 3.6 demo Spool Pilot for Mac 1.0 demo TaskTime 4.1.7 shareware Textreme 3.0 shareware TimeCache 6.1.1 trial TinyBooks 3.0.7 trial

AUDIO UNIT PLUG-INS (IN AUDIO & MUSIC FOLDER)
Ambience Reverb donationware Au303 1.04 freeware Augustus Loop 1.6.1 freeware Automat 4.1 freeware Bad Cable freeware Chip32 freeware Crazy Ivan 1.1.1 freeware Crystal 2.4.9d donationware DFX Buffer Override freeware DFX EQ Sync freeware DFX Freeverb freeware DFX MIDI Gater freeware DFX Monomaker freeware DFX Polarizer freeware DFX Rez Synth freeware DFX RMS Buddy freeware DFX Skidder freeware DFX Transverb freeware DFX Turntablist freeware Freesound Bundle freeware Frohmage Filter 1.44 freeware FuzzPlus 2.2 freeware GWS RanPan 2.7.9 freeware KT Granulator 1.2.3 freeware LFX-1310 1.1.5 freeware MDA Set 1.0.1 freeware Multi Delay freeware Speedster 1.0 freeware SupaPhaser 3.0 freeware The Wavebreaker 2.0A1 alpha Warp Drive AU 1.0 freeware Zoyd public beta

GRAPHICS & MULTIMEDIA
DeBabelizer Pro 6 trial DeBabelizer Server trial DivX 6.5 trial Equilibrium Action Packed trial Image Tricks 2.1 freeware LiveQuartz Image Editor 1.6 donationware photoprinto 2.1 trial vSlideshow 1.0 trial

UTILITIES

AppZapper 1.5 demo CopyCatX 3.5 demo DiskTracker 2.3.3 (Classic) shareware INTERFACE A Better Finder Rename 7.3.5 DiskTracker 2.3.3 (Mac OS X) shareware shareware Default Folder X 3.0 trial eNotes 1.3 demo EasyFind 3.9 shareware Knox 1.1.1 trial EntourageABMenu 1.4 shareware MacForensicsLab 1.0 demo Filegazer 1.3.1 shareware NameCleaner 2.5.5 shareware Finder Window Manager 1.9.5 OnSync 1.13 shareware shareware Parallels Desktop demo JABMenu 1.1 shareware Spotless 1.0 shareware LaunchBar 4.1 shareware Stellar Phoenix 2.0 demo Path Finder 4.1.1 shareware TechRestore demo video VelaClock 1.6 demo

INTERNET & COMMUNICATIONS

BrowseBack 1.2 trial Gallery Designer 1.0.1 shareware GarageSale 2.2.1 shareware KidsGoGoGo 10.3.1 trial OmniWeb 5.1.3 trial Personal Antispam X4 trial SpamSweep 1.3 shareware

SPONSORS
DeBabelizer Pro 6 trial DeBabelizer Server trial Equilibrium Action Packed trial iFill 1.0 demo Microsoft Office 2004 Test Drive OmniGraffle 4.1.1 trial OmniOutliner 3.6 trial OmniWeb 5.1.3 trial Roland GI-20 demo video TechRestore demo video

MEDIA
Get Out the Way free MP3 song, plus games Roland GI-20 demo video

If you don’t receive the Disc with your copy of MacAddict, you might want to consider upgrading. Each monthly Disc contains cool demos, useful shareware and freeware, and an assortment of multimedia goodies. To get 12 issues of MacAddict that include this value-packed Disc with your subscription (prorated if necessary) for just $1 more per issue, call 888-771-6222—the operator will take care of everything.

UPGRADE

08

August 2006

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Tap into the power of Mac OS X Tiger Core Image filters with this image editor—its price is attractive as well.

This snappy app keeps a visual index of every Web page you visit— BrowseBack remembers your trail so you don’t have to.

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Dave Lynn, 949-360-4443 EASTERN ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Anthony Danzi, 646-723-5453 EASTERN ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Larry Presser, 646-723-5459 NATIONAL SALES MANAGER, ENTERTAINMENT Isaac Ugay, 562-983-8018 MARKETING DIRECTOR Cassandra Magzamen MARKETING COORDINATOR Michael Basilio ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Jose Urrutia, 415-656-8313

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EDITORS’ PAGE

09

Express Yourself!
What is it about Mac addicts and creativity? Does the Mac and its abundance of innovative software inspire us to be more creative than we would otherwise be, or are we drawn to the Mac because we are, at heart, more visually and aurally expressive than the average peecee-using keyboard tickler? Or is it a little bit of both? Tossing all modesty out the window, I say it’s a combination of both. We’re drawn to the Mac because aesthetics matter to us; we use the tools provided by Apple, Adobe, M-Audio, Digidesign, and many, many others to pursue our own aesthetic goals. Whether we’re fine-tuning a multicamera video in Final Cut Pro 5 or tweaking a P&L spreadsheet in Excel, we strive to make our work’s appearance as compelling as its content. And that’s a good thing. Two feature stories in this month’s issue are designed to appeal to your Mac-empowered aesthetic self. Beginning on page 18, MacAddict’s own art director, Mark Rosenthal, leads you through a series of creative projects that will, as his article’s title suggests, “Free Your Inner Artist.” Being an amateur photographer myself, I used my Nikon D70 and some of his tips to take my fledgling skills to a new level. Thanks, Mark. On page 28 you’ll find “Take GarageBand Out of the Garage,” an eye-opening—ear-opening?—introduction into the vast galaxy of GarageBand enhancements. Long-time MacAddict contributing editor and music pro David Biedny not only shares his encyclopedic knowledge of Audio Unit plug-ins, but he also rounded up 32 freeware plug-ins for this month’s Disc so you can dive right in and begin exploring sonic heights you never knew GarageBand could achieve. If you’re like most creative Mac addicts, part of the fun and satisfaction of exercising your creativity is sharing your creations with others. So here’s my suggestion: Once you’ve used the tips and tricks in “Free Your Inner Artist” and “Take GarageBand Out of the Garage” to create your own images and compositions, send the files—JPEGs and MP3s—to letters@macaddict.com, along with a brief description of what you did and who you are; we’ll put the best on an upcoming Disc. Fame—if not fortune—awaits. Enjoy,

STAFF RANTS
Susie Ochs SECRETARY OF PARTYING DOWN

Q. What’s the most creative thing you’ve done with your Mac?

What’s the most creative thing you’ve done with your Mac?

Well, it wasn’t on a Mac, but when I was in sixth grade I programmed a Michael Jordan game in BASIC on my school’s Apple IIE. It had stats, a trivia quiz, and a text-only “one on one” game that used input and random-number commands to simulate a matchup against a IIE-controlled MJ. (What a nerd, huh?) I wonder where that 5-inch floppy is now…

Roman Loyola MAN AT THE CROSSROADS
What’s the most creative thing you’ve done with your Mac?

I once painted a mural while using my Mac SE as a step stool. That, and when I made a short iMovie video of my first-born son learning how to stand, set to Culture Club’s “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya.”

Niko Coucouvanis STINKERBELL
What’s the most creative thing you’ve done with your Mac?

I’m learning to dance, sort of. I turned my new MacBook Pro into a lightsaber—I’ll show you how next month—and I’m working on a routine to put that Star Wars Kid (just Google him) to shame. Unless you want to hear about the…um…smoke-delivery device I made out of a Mac Plus.

Peter Marshutz ART DIRECTORISH
What’s the most creative thing you’ve done with your Mac?

I can’t believe you’re asking me that, Rik! :-) The most creative thing I do with my Mac is design MacAddict layouts each month.

Elliot Smith MISUNDERSTOOD IDEALIST
What’s the most creative thing you’ve done with your Mac?

When I used it to develop an ingenious plan to design and program a bunch of Super Robots™ to take over the world and put everyone into a virtual world like in the movie…wait a minute…did you want a real answer?

Mark Rosenthal DREW LINES
What’s the most creative thing you’ve done with your Mac?

Once, I typed “Mark Was Here” real big in InDesign. Then I scaled it down in one dimension until it became a hairline. From then on I used in my layouts until I lost it. Now that’s creative—and maybe a bit hubristic.

Max TURNING 10 NEXT MONTH
What’s the most creative thing you’ve done with your Mac?

Actually, in my case the question should be, “What’s the most creative thing that the Mac has done for you?” Y’see, without a Mac mouse being wielded by then–Assistant Art Director Adam Vanderhoof as he created the first issue of MacAddict in September 1996, I wouldn’t even exist.

comingsoon:september2006
Here’s what our editors are preparing for the next issue of MacAddict.

Now that the MacBook has been released and Apple’s entire notebook line has been Intel-icized, we’ve assembled a comprehensive Mobile-Mac SuperGuide—tips, accessories, cases, speakers, portable storage, and more. Next month being MacAddict’s 10th birthday, we’ll relive the bumpy ride that’s been the past 10 years of Macdom. Our Field Guide will uncover Automator resources, and we’ll toss in a tutorial on how to use Automator to simplify your life. We’ll also create a Universal disaster disk, explore GarageBand’s movie-scoring chops, and put words into Steve Jobs’s mouth—virtually, that is. Plus, we’ll have in-depth reviews of Canon’s EOS 30D SLR camera, QuarkXPress 7 page-layout software, Palm’s 700p PDA, Motorola’s SLVR iTunes-enabled mobile phone, Aspyr’s Call of Duty 2 first-person shooter, and more.

August 2006

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the news of the month in bite-size chunks

Perfect harmony.

BOFFO ’BOOK T
With the introduction of the new MacBook, Apple’s Intel transition is nearly complete.
here’s the conclusion: The MacBook provides as much, or more, bang for the buck than any slab of portable goodness to ever emerge from Cupertino. Guts and glory. The MacBook comes in three flavors: low-end, midrange, and black. The $1,099 entry-level model is powered by a 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo linked to a 667MHz frontside bus; ships with 512MB of DDR2 SDRAM on two 256MB SO DIMMs (more on the RAM in a moment); includes a 5,400 rpm, 60GB hard drive and a slot-loading Combo drive; peeks at you through a 640-by480-pixel iSight camera above its bright, 13.3-inch, 1,280-by-800-pixel, glossy widescreen display; listens and plays through analog/optical audio-in and -out ports; ships with an Apple Remote for the bundled Front Row media-center software; and communicates with the world over 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit here are times when an Apple product announcement comes as a complete surprise. The May 16 unveiling of the MacBook was not one of those times. When the MacBook Pro was introduced on January 10, the demise of the G4-powered iBook was only a matter of time; even guessing its replacement’s name was a no-brainer. When the Mac mini was Intel-icized on February 28, a glance at its components gave you a hint as to what to expect inside the upcoming MacBook—after all, the original Mac mini G4 was essentially an iBook G4 in a cute li’l case. This lack of surprise is not to say that the MacBook is a disappointment. Not by a long shot. You can read our review on page 38, but to save you the trouble of jumping to that page this instant,
Four MacBooks are powered by an Intel Core Duo—but that might change soon.

Ethernet plus built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth. As with the MacBook Pro and the Mac mini, what’s not built in is a modem—that’s a $49 option. You don’t get a whole heck of a lot more if you decide to pop for either the $1,299 midrange or the $1,499 top-end black MacBook. They both have 2.0GHz Core Duos and replace the Combo drive with a 4x SuperDrive, and the black beauty ups its hard drive size to 80GB—but you can order a midrange model with an 80GB drive for just 50 bucks more. Style costs. The quick thinkers among you will notice that if you upgrade the hard drive on the midrange whitey, it’ll be identical to the black

PHOTOS COURTESY OF APPLE

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August 2006

GET INFO

11

’Book, but still $150 cheaper. Yup, you’re right; it seems that Apple’s product pricers took a look at the raging success of the black iPods and decided to pick up a bit more cash from MacBook buyers obsessed with style. If that includes you, temper your obsession— the pop-off MagSafe power cable that ships with the MacBook Pro remains glaringly albino. And about that SDRAM we mentioned earlier: Like the Mac mini, the MacBook line uses the Intel GMA 950 graphics processor, which gloms onto 64MB of the MacBook’s stock 512MB of system memory. Since Apple’s Rosetta PowerPC-translation technology is a memory hog—as is Mac OS X—you’re going to want to upgrade the MacBook’s RAM to a gig or more (it maxes out at 2GB) if you’re using non-Universal apps. Unfortunately, you’ll then have two homeless 256MB SO DIMM memory modules kicking around. eBay, anyone? The future is now. It was just one short year ago that Apple announced

it was switching from PowerPC to Intel processors. That transition is now complete for two of Apple’s three main product lines: consumer-level Macs and notebooks. The smart money says that Apple will announce the Intelification of its pro line on August 7 when Steve Jobs gives his keynote speech at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference. The chip that will power the pro line, formerly code-named Conroe and now officially dubbed Core 2 Duo, is reportedly ready. Interestingly, the notebook-level version of the speedy Core 2 Duo, formerly code-named Merom, is rumored to be ahead of schedule and speeding toward a fall release date—which inspires a bit of speculation: Now that both the MacBook and the MacBook Pro are shipping with Core Duo processors, will the MacBook Pro be upgraded to faster, next-generation Core 2 Duo processors Real Soon Now? And how happy might that make recent MacBook Pro purchasers?—Rik Myslewski

NEW STUFF NEW STUFF
Store and tell.

4HD LCD

FireLite XPress
$199.99 (60GB), $299.99 (120GB) www.smartdisk.com Available: Now

This portable hard drive has an always-on LCD that provides information such as a list of files, available capacity, and the time when data was last written to the drive.

4DESIGNER’S TOOL
QuarkXpress 7
$749 (full version), $249 (upgrade) www.quark.com Available: Now

OH, THANK HEAVEN

Apple’s new Fifth Avenue store in New York City is the only Apple Store that’s open 24/7, giving late-night revelers another place to hang out besides the local 7-Eleven convenience store—the one at 345 West 42nd Street. Just take a look at all the advantages the Apple Store has over 7-Eleven.—Michelle Victoria
APPLE STORE PHOTO COURTESY OF APPLE

This page-layout app is now The venerable Universal (take page maker that, Adobe!) and gets an update. includes new transparency tools, the ability to let multiple users work on a project simultaneously, and Job Jackets, which let you define the specifications of your project.

The one thing Microsoft does better than Apple.

4FREAKIN’ LASER BEAMS
$99.95 www.microsoft.com Available: Now

Wireless Laser Desktop for Mac

32-foot glass cube entryway Dramatic glass stairway Hands-on experience with Apple products Staff of 300 trained Mac Specialists, Mac Geniuses, and Creatives Possible Steve Jobs sightings Learn new skills at free Apple workshops

32-ounce Big Gulps “Beeeeep!” at the front door Out-of-order Pac-Man arcade game Guy behind the counter watching elimiDATE on WPIX Favorite hangout of Steve, the jobless guy who lives with his mom in Queens Slurpee-induced brain freeze

Microsoft designed this keyboard with the Mac in mind—which means there’s (finally) a Command key! The keyboard also has one-touch buttons for iTunes, email, iChat, and more, and the laser mouse has five customizable buttons.

August 2006

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v

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GET INFO

the news of the month in bite-size chunks

DROOLWORTHY
Sexy Stuff We Can’t Wait to Get Our Mitts On

Industrial StrengthB
The Power Box Dock ($49.99, www .boschtools.com) is an iPod dock accessory for Bosch’s muy macho Power Box power center and radio/ CD player ($179.99). The Dock both plays and charges your 3G, 4G, and 5G iPods, as well as iPod minis, photos, and nanos.

APower Mat
Sure, they’re not strictly Mac accessories, but Aluma Design’s Art Framing Systems are perfect for art aficionados who want to give their works the Power Mac G5–grill treatment. Wall frames include the Fine Art Line ($99 to $649, www.alumadesign.com), the Agency Line ($89 to $499), and more.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ALUMA DESIGN

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August 2006

PHOTO COURTESY OF BOSCH

We have solutions to improve any creative process.
(Imagine what we can do for yours.)

Apple® Power Mac® G5
• • • • Dual 2.3GHz PowerPC G5 processors Memory: 512MB 250GB Serial ATA hard drive CD-RW/DVD-R SuperDriveTM

$

2499
CDW 862080

NEC MultiSync® LCD195VX • 19" analog and digital LCD • Contrast ratio: 550:1 • 3-year limited parts, labor and backlight warranty

$

32999
CDW 884493

HP Designjet 110plus nr Printer • Prints up to 24" paper width • Print resolution: 1200 x 600 dpi with HP PhotoREt • Parallel, USB and Ethernet ports

$

159599 CDW 690377 $110 MAIL - IN REBATE AVAILABLE
1

The Mac Solutions You Need When You Need Them. You’d like to spend as much time as possible focusing on your creative work. CDW has the solutions that let you do just that. Our account managers can help you find the products you need to keep the creative process going faster and more efficiently. So call today for detailed answers to all your technology questions, and get back to focusing on what you really enjoy: creativity.
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Call your CDW account manager about available $110 mail-in manufacturer rebate; offer ends 7/31/06. Offer subject to CDW’s standard terms and conditions of sale, available at CDW.com. © 2006 CDW Corporation

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the news of the month in bite-size chunks

iPOD CASE OF THE MONTH
SKB’s DryPod ($44.95, www .drypodcase.com) is a waterproof case for 4G and 5G iPods—it even covers the clickwheel while still allowing you to use it. The headphone jack has a watertight seal, and you also get a belt clip, armband, and lanyard.—MV

Bug of the Month

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
REVIVE A MAC THAT STALLS DURING STARTUP

I

Take your ’Pod to the pool.
SUBMIT YOUR CASE Whether your iPod case is a custom-made one-off or mass produced, you can submit it for Case of the Month consideration— just send it to iPod Case of the Month, MacAddict, 4000 Shoreline Ct., Ste. 400, South San Francisco, CA 94080. Please note that we cannot return cases.

t’s possibly the worst thing that can happen after a major Mac OS X update: The installation went fine, but at the subsequent restart, the startup process stalls, either right after the login screen or during the earlier gray-screen phase. Here’s what to do if you find yourself in this predicament. 1. PLAY IT SAFE Restart your Mac into Safe Mode by holding down the Shift key during startup. Your Mac will run a complete (and lengthy) file-system check, then start up with only the required kernel extensions and without running any Startup Items that you installed. If you’re running OS 10.4, it’ll also perform some font finagling (see Apple support document #107392 for more info). Try starting up normally again; if you still stall, restart in Safe Mode, and move on to step 2. 2. TRY TRIAL AND ERROR Open /Library/StartupItems folder—that’s the root-level Library, not the one in your user name folder. Look for potentially problematic third-party items such as virus-scanning software components. Remove one or more items to a location outside the Library folder, such as the Desktop, then restart normally and see if your Mac stalls. If it does, try removing all items in the StartupItems folder and restart. If all’s now well, place the items back into the StartupItems folder one by one, restarting each time you put one back. If—when?—the stall resurfaces, you just identified the faulty component. 3. TIME FOR THE .PLIST PURGE If step 2 didn’t work, sometimes removing offending .plist files from the /Library/Preferences folder can prove successful— but be forewarned: This step can be tedious. Remove the entire Preferences folder from the Library folder on your startup drive (your Mac will automatically create a new Preferences folder in the Library folder), then place the files back one by one until you see the problem return. Alternatively, you can take half of the items out (all non-Apple .plist files, for example), restart to see if your Mac stalls, then move to a smaller set of items, repeating the process until the culprit is found. Hang in there…

FINAL CUT STUDIO: UNIVERSAL BLAZES

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pple recently released Final Cut Studio 5.1 ($1,299, www.apple.com), which offers Final Cut Pro, Soundtrack Pro, LiveType, DVD Studio Pro, Motion, and Compressor as Universal apps. The apps don’t have any major new features, but they can run on the new Intel-based Macs. And do they run fast! The real gains come when you’re rendering video in Final Cut Pro or using Compressor to encode video into a variety of digital formats. We used Final Cut Pro to render a 2.5-minute DV movie on two test Macs. On a 1.67GHz PowerBook G4, the render took about 23 minutes, but on a 1.83GHz MacBook Pro, the render took 16 minutes—a 30 percent speed increase. Next we encoded the same video as an MPEG-2 file; the PowerBook took 27 minutes, while the MacBook Pro took 16 minutes—a 40 percent increase. Other improvements we noticed: The MacBook Pro could simultaneously play four multicamera angles without any stutters or stops, something the
August 2006

PowerBook could rarely (if ever) do. When running Motion 2, the MacBook Pro also worked in near-real time, as long as we kept projects down to a couple of DV layers and a handful of applied filters or effects. Final Cut Studio also features scores of small bug fixes and several small, but appreciated, new features that Apple doesn’t bother to advertise. One new Final Cut addition is support for Canon’s XL H1 ($8,999.99, www.canon.com) high-definition camera, and another is the ability to automatically find and reconnect media that you may have moved around on your hard drive or between drives. Upgrades from earlier versions of Studio or its individual apps range from $49 to $699. For more info, visit www.apple.com/universal/ crossgrade. One caveat: The Intelbased Mac mini and MacBook lack adequate video oomph for use with Motion 2.—Helmut Kobler
With all the speed improvements, what will you do with your free time?

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GET INFO

the news of the month in bite-size chunks

SHAREWARE PICK OF THE MONTH
RCDefaultApp 2.0 www.rubicode.com Free

hile Mac OS X might be the best operating system in the world, it has its quirks, such as setting default applications for files. For example, if you want to have Microsoft Entourage and Mozilla Firefox be your default applications when launching email links or URLs, you need to set the preferences in Apple’s Mail and Safari, respectively. RCDefaultApp lets you make these systemwide changes in a single preference pane.—Andrew Tokuda

W

After you download the software, double-click the disk image, then double-click the RCDefaultApp-2.0.X icon on your desktop, and finally doubleclick RCDefaultApp.prefPane. System Preferences will launch, and you’ll be offered the choice to install the app for all user accounts or just your own. Pick your account only if you don’t want others to be able to use RCDefaultApp.

2 After you install the software, Internet is the first tab available to you. Choose your apps of choice for Web browsing, email, and others.

3 Click the Extensions tab and you’ll see a long list of file extensions. Here you can set which app you want to launch files with each extension. For true geeks who want everything their way, you can even set defaults for specific UTIs (uniform type identifiers) and MIME (multipurpose Internet mail extension) types.

SHOEDA THUNK IT?
pple’s latest—and most unconventional—entry into iPod accessoryland is the Nike + iPod Sport Kit ($29, www.apple.com), which includes a receiver for an iPod nano and a small, wireless sensor/transmitter that you insert into a pair of Nike+ running shoes ($85 to $110). Lace ’em up, start running, and the Sport Kit will track your time, distance, calories burned, and

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more. The data is spoken back to you through your earbuds so you can keep your eyes on your route, and can be uploaded for analysis on NikePlus .com. To leave no revenue opportunity untapped, the iTunes Music Store even has a Nike Sport Music section. —Michelle Victoria

Get off your Segway and get some exercise.

• Stellar Phoenix Macintosh ($199, www.stellarinfo .com) recovers data from erased, damaged, or corrupted hard drive volumes. It supports IDE, EIDE and SCSI drives. • Intego’s Personal Antispam X4 ($49.95, www .intego.com) filters spam in Apple Mail and Microsoft Entourage and protects you against email phishing scams and viruses. • SubRosaSoft’s CopyCatX 3.5 ($59.95, www .subrosasoft .com) can make MacForensicsLab: exact duplicates of your hard Everybody wants to be a crime scene drive or iPod. The new version is investigator. a Universal app and has a bootable CD option for Intel Macs. SubRosaSoft’s MacForensicsLab 1.0 ($995.95), a suite of forensics and analysis tools for law enforcement pros, can recover data from recently initialized drives, corrupt media, and more. • Mark Allan’s ClamXav 1.0.3 (free, www .markallan.co.uk/clamXav/index.php) scans emails and downloads for viruses. • PACE Anti-Piracy’s InterLok 5.4 (contact for price quote, www.paceap.com) is a tool for software publishers to manage copy protection, license management, and license term enforcement; the new version is a Universal app. • Marko Karppinen & Co.’s Knox 1.1 ($29.95, www.knoxformac.com) backup utility protects files by encrypting them using the Advanced Encryption Standard. • Maki’s Kids GoGoGo 10.3.1 ($30, www.makienterprise.com) lets parents filter Web sites ON THE for kids. The app DISC can block RSS Stellar Phoenix Macintosh, feeds and explicit Personal Antispam X4, CopyCatX 3.5, podcasts. MacForensicsLab 1.0, Knox 1.1, Kids GoGoGo 10.3.1 —Michelle Victoria

What’sNew

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SECURIT Y

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August 2006

Love your Mac but never escape from the (Microsoft) office? Play hooky and try these creative projects—we won’t tell.
by Mark Rosenthal
ou’ve mastered creating grant proposals with your word processor. Wielding your mighty spreadsheet, you’ve calculated the rate of inflation in Azerbaijan to the nearest .001 percent. Your PowerPointing skills are legendary. But can you make something that just plain looks nice? Well, unless you’re talking about printing pictures of your kitty, the answer could possibly be “No.” It’s not that you don’t have

Free Your I
the tools—a zillion cool apps are in your arsenal. Maybe you just don’t know what to do. Well, we can help. Here are nine creative projects, each tailored to steal you away from your wordsmithing, number crunching, and idea presenting. Go ahead and try a few—you may end up with something to hang on your wall. And don’t worry, the grunt work will still be there when you’re finished.

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PROJECT 1:

Take Photographs with Your Scanner
If you think your scanner is limited to 2D, you’re wrong. It can handle the 3D world with beautiful results.
Most people use their scanners to digitize their pre-digitalera prints. But if you’ve completed that chore (whew!), you’ve probably wondered, “What should I do with that ugly thing now?” But wait—don’t toss it out! Your scanner’s abilities aren’t limited to the two-dimensional world. It can actually make beautiful “photographs” from three-dimensional objects. Of course, so can your digital camera—but each digital capture device senses light differently, so each will produce its own look and feel. First collect some objects that might make a nice still life. You’ll be placing them directly on your scanner’s glass, so make sure not to choose things that might mar or scratch the glass’s surface, or place a piece of Plexiglas over the scanner’s glass if you think you might make a mess. Your items don’t have to be flat; surprisingly, your scanner’s lens has great depth of field. This means that when scanning an item with depth, the scanner should keep all the parts of your object in focus. When you’ve finished assembling your still life, attach a piece of black paper or fabric to inside of the lid of the scanner. This will create an even background and keep light from the scanner’s lamp from scattering around your arrangement. Lower the lid. Sometimes it helps to cover the entire scanner with something lightproof, such as a blanket, but often doing so isn’t necessary. Now scan away! As with most scans, you’ll have to adjust your levels, saturation, and so on, either using your scanner’s software or using your image-editing app later. But you’ll find that your scanner exposes the image remarkably well. You have limited options for backgrounds. Unfortunately, scanners will turn a white background bluish, but patterned paper that has no white can yield some nice effects, as long as it’s on the dark side.
18 August 2006

A black piece of paper as a background gives an elegant look.

A white background yields a nice blue, but that’s the only color choice you’ll have.

A patterned background is nice, but look how the white areas turn a little blue. It’s best to avoid any white.

Inner Artist
PROJECT 2:

Make a Portrait from Many Photos
If you want to make a collage of pictures that will capture both your subject and the environment, then the first thing you’re going to have to do is take a lot of shots. Since you won’t need large pictures, you can set your camera to medium resolution. Doing so will make 4-by-6-inch images—that’s still a bit big, but you’ll be able to size them down in an imageediting app if you so choose. Place your subject somewhere out of harsh shadows and where there is at least a mildly interesting background. (One neat thing about this collage technique is that it actually makes dull backgrounds more interesting.) Now, standing about eight feet away, start shooting your subject in an even, methodical way, as if trying to document every square inch of their body. You can pan down to get the feet, or crouch down; it’s not important. The main point is to cover everything— Talk about atmosphere! interesting angles are A fairly placid setting optional. Your subject becomes a swirling, active doesn’t have to stand dreamscape. stock-still; a little movement can even add some variety, but major movements of the body or head won’t help. When you’ve finished the body, start to shoot all around the subject, capturing a wide range of background shots. Try not to miss a spot, and always overlap generously. Don’t be afraid to shoot high into trees or low onto the ground (if it’s interesting ground). These shots can produce wonderful atmosphere. Fifty or 60 shots should do; any more will be overwhelming to work with. When you’ve loaded your shots into your Mac, back them up and

By using your camera to shoot at and all around your subject, you can make a cool interpretation of the scene.
then resize them (in Photoshop, select Image > Image Size). The 4-by-6-inch size would make a very big collage since you may be using up to 20 photos. We used 2-by-3-inch images for our collage and chose 150 dpi as their resolution, which is fine for inkjet printers. That’s a lot of resizing, so create an Action in Photoshop if you want some help through this drudgery. Make a new document in Photoshop at the same resolution you chose when resizing your individual shots and large enough to accommodate your collage. We made our window 12 inches by 12 inches. Using Photoshop’s image browser (Window > File Browser), start choosing images from your session. Your aim is to tile together pictures with arbitrary overlaps and elements that don’t quite match up from picture to picture—see our example for, well, an example. Double-click an image in the browser, and it will open in Photoshop. Select all (CommandA) and drag the image right onto the new, empty document you created earlier. Keep doing this with enough images to complete your scene. Since Photoshop puts each image on a new layer, you’ll have an easy time moving them around. Make sure to click the Auto Select Layer box on the tool options bar on the top of your screen. Doing so relieves you of having to find the corresponding layer when you want to move an object; Auto Select Layer will find the layer for you by sensing what your selection tool is above. The rest is just play. Experiment with overlaps and repetition. If some of your photos are inconsistently exposed, or if the focus isn’t perfect, use these “defects” to your advantage; they add tone and texture to your collage. Enjoy.
August 2006 19

Free Your Inner Artist
PROJECT 3:

Use Posterization to Make a Graphic Portrait
Here’s how to turn a conventional portrait into a dynamic graphic design.
First find a photo with an expressive subject. His or her head should contrast the background (dark hair on a light background or light hair on a dark background). In our example we cut out the background using Photoshop’s lasso tool, since the value of the subject’s hair—its darkness or lightness—was too close to that of the background. Select Image > Adjustments > Posterize. In the Levels box, enter 2; this will convert the image into two distinct colors plus black. How Photoshop chooses these colors is a mystery, but if they’re ugly, don’t worry; we change them in a bit. Here’s a fellow in an excited state—then Click OK. again after his background has been Next, choose cut away. the magic wand from the toolbox. From the settings bar, above, uncheck the box labeled Contiguous. Any number in the Tolerance box will work for what we’re doing. Click the magic wand on one of the colors and you’ll see that all areas of that color are now selected. Next, choose Make Work Path from the drop-down menu of the Paths palette (Window > Paths). Enter 10 in the Tolerance field. Click OK, and Photoshop will draw a path (or multiple paths) around the area of selected color. Choosing 1 for tolerance makes a Our subject is now in three colors. Why tight, highly detailed these particular three? Who knows…

PROJECT 4:

Create a Different Kind of Panorama
Love panoramic shots? Try this twist on the old pan-and-shoot technique.
Imagine you’re in Egypt. You see a stunning wall of hieroglyphics. The wall is quite long, and you want to capture its breadth with your camera. You decide to make a panorama and take several shots by panning your camera from a fixed point. But later, while stitching together your panorama, you discover that as the wall got farther from the camera the detail becomes hard to see and the perspective is severely distorted. You’ve completely lost the feeling of being there. Well, here’s a way to get everything you want: the vista, the detail, and nonbending perspective. Since MacAddict’s budget couldn’t handle a trip to Egypt, we went down to the railroad tracks to find a modern version of hieroglyphics: graffiti. Our site was a long warehouse that runs along the tracks.
20 August 2006

Along the wall is a mural-like assortment of graffiti about 50 yards long. We set our lens to a zoom magnification that gave us a normal, undistorted view of our subject (that would be 35mm on our digital SLR or 50mm on a film SLR). Starting on one

path, while choosing 10 simplifies the path, giving it an abstract look. Finally, from the Paths submenu, choose Save Path and give it a name. Repeat this procedure for the other color plus black. Now press Command-A, When you’re done, you should have three paths then Delete to delete the on your Paths palette. entire image— but not the paths—leaving a white background; we’ll just be using the paths from this point on. Click on the first path and turn it into a selection by clicking on the dotted-line circle icon at the bottom of the Paths palette—that’s the Load Path As A Selection button. Select Edit > Fill to fill the selection with a color you choose from the Color Picker. Repeat this procedure with the remaining two paths, choosing a different color each time. The choice is entirely up to you, but we recommend picking colors from the same color family, using the lightest color for what would be the lightest part of the face and darker colors for the darker parts.

Notice that the areas made from the paths have a geometric, graphic feel to them. A great thing is that if you’d like to get playful and make color changes, there’s no need to go back to loading the paths. With the magic wand, just click on a color and fill it with a new one.

The resulting panorama displays all the graffiti evenly and clearly, yet we can also view

the entire setting in a single panoramic image.

end, we took our first picture standing exactly at a right angle to the wall. As with shooting a normal panning panorama, we made sure to overlap the edge of each frame so that we’d have enough extra image material come stitching time. After each

shot, we moved sideways to the next section making sure to keep the same distance between our camera and subject. Later, we stitched the pictures together in Photoshop using good ol’ fashioned cut and paste.

We also made a traditional panorama of the same scene. It, too, is quite interesting—but in an entirely different way.
August 2006 21

Free Your Inner Artist
PROJECT 5:
PROJECT 5

Texturize Your Photos

Got a picture with great texture and you don’t know what to do with it? Here’s how to merge it with another photo.

Texturize Your Photos
Got a picture with great texture and you don’t know what to do with it? Here’s how to merge it with another.
Sometimes a photo needs a little something extra to make it say what you want it to say—adding a complementing texture is an easy way to add some mood. Make sure that the photo you want to enhance doesn’t have any large areas of white, as these areas will make the texture look more like a photograph and less like a texture. Then find an image that contains an object or group of objects with a texture that you like—nothing too fine that won’t show up and nothing too chunky that might overwhelm your photo. Our example uses a nice, even field of small stones. It is important that your texture file is large enough to cover your base image. It may be necessary to clone parts of your texture image to make a larger image to work with, but a perfect job isn’t necessary since the imperfections won’t show when the images are combined. It’s also a good idea to choose a contrasty picture for your texture—if yours is flat, add contrast in Photoshop (Image > Adjustment > Brightness/Contrast). The rest is simple. Copy the texture image and paste it right on top of your main image. Photoshop will automatically place it on a separate layer. Then set the blending mode from the pull-down menu on the Layers palette (Window > Layers) to Luminosity. You’ll see that your texture layer has now covered your entire base image except for its color. To bring through more of your base image’s texture, change the opacity of the texture layer to around 30 percent. Now your subject looks lumpy, grainy, or whatever texture you chose.

PROJECT 6:

Build Your Own Font
Want to make your signature font? Here’s a beginners’ course in font making, using FontLab’s TypeTool.
Fonts are a mystery to all of us. Part of the mystery is how they operate within the Mac’s system. But there’s also the question of how they’re actually made. Many of us would love to have our own signature fonts, but the truth is that making an original font from scratch is a daunting task. Luckily, a relatively straightforward font-creation tool from FontLab called TypeTool ($99, demo available at www.fontlab .com) makes this task a little easier. When creating an original font, each glyph (that’s fontspeak for character) must be drawn individually using the traditional tools for drawing PostScript shapes: Bezier curves. Knowing that even the sound of the words “Bezier curves” can send

YOU HAVE SOMETHING HANGING FROM YOUR NOSE.
It may not be elegant, but it’s unique.

TypeTool’s main window shows you the entire font…
22 August 2006

chills down our spines, beginning the learning process by trying to draw an entire font might be overwhelming. Fortunately, TypeTool provides basic serif and sans serif fonts to use as a starting point. In this example we’ll take the basic font and make a rather modest adjustment to it. But modest or radical, you’ll still be able to call it your own font when you’re finished. TypeTool’s main window shows a grid of glyphs that represent an entire font. Click on a box, and a new window opens showing a set of guides representing baseline, x-height, and left and right spacing. Had we been working from scratch, these glyph windows would be empty, waiting to be drawn in, but because we’ve opened the basic serif font, every box will have a glyph in it. As mentioned earlier, these outlines can be manipulated by moving their points and handles as well as by using other techniques. Since we’re beginners, we’ll work on top of this existing font and make some simple changes to construct a new font. Remember, any change that you apply to one glyph you’ll have to do to all the others, so to minimize the work we’ll just play with the capital letters. Decorating our character with dots or stripes would be a fairly simple direction to take; TypeTool’s tools for doing this are pretty straightforward. But distorting the glyphs would be cooler, so that’s what we’ll do here. …just click on a box to see Choose the Transform the glyph’s outline.

Sure, the kids are cute—but let’s turn this straightforward snapshot into art.

Find a nice texture, not too fine, not too clunky. Some contrast helps, too.

The kids have disappeared, leaving only their color behind? Weird.

That’s better—a decent dose of kids and a decent dose of stones.

tool from TypeTool’s toolbox, and by dragging one of the corner handles, distort the A downward to about half its height. Now whenever you type an A, it will look stumpy. To go to the next glyph, B, you don’t have to close the A window and return to the font window. Just click the right arrow in the toolbox, Use the Transform tool to grab and your B will appear. It glyph handles to stretch your won’t take long to stretch letterform. the remaining 25 capital letters to random heights. When you’re finished, go to File > Generate > Mac Suitcase and choose Macintosh Type 1 from the Select Destination Format drop-down menu. Name and save your font. Find the suitcase file wherever you saved it and load it using the font utility you Squash your letters to different normally use, or just drop it heights. into /Library/Fonts. Your font will appear in your font menus in all your apps. You’ve just created a wiggly, unpredictable font to use in your emails to your wiggly, unpredictable boss. Choose Macintosh Type 1 then name and save your font. Load it and type away!

Make Your Own Type Book
Can’t remember the name of your favorite font? A type book is easy to make and is great reference.
It doesn’t take long to amass a library of thousands of fonts. Without a catalog of your fonts, it becomes almost impossible to browse your collection. But for some reason, finding an application that can create a simple type book isn’t so easy. Some font utilities don’t create type books, and others do so inelegantly. But one freeware application, Font Sampler (free, www.dotsw.com) makes perfectly simple pages for your binder with little effort. Upon launching, Font Sampler immediately makes a WYSIWYG list of all the fonts currently active in your system. If you wish, Font Sampler will scroll down the list automatically (you choose the scroll speed) so that you can browse what you’ve got, hands free. You can choose what text Font Sampler uses as its sample type; this is crucial in getting the feel for a font. Here’s a tip for deciding what text to use for your type book: Choose a short phrase (viewing the alphabet isn’t so helpful) with an ascender and a descender and type it both in upper- and lowercase and also in all caps. This way, you’ll have a two-for-one sample, which is useful since many graphic projects will demand type set in both cases. You don’t want to choose a font for a big project, only to find out later that your font looks atrocious in all caps.
A nice, simple viewing window is exactly what you need when looking at fonts.
August 2006 23

Free Your Inner Artist
PROJECT 7:

Color Correct Quickly
Your photograph’s color looks off, but it’s hard to tell how. Here’s how to fix it.
A color cast occurs when an image shows a color tint due to low light, odd light sources, or a host of other factors. Often color casts are quite noticeable—skin tones are yellowish, or white objects look bluish. Other times casts can be almost impossible to see, and only when your picture is finally balanced do you notice how off it was before. Here’s a quick and easy series of steps to apply to all your photographs before printing. With your picture open in Photoshop, open Levels (Command-L). Double-click the black eyedropper in the lower right, and the Color Picker window will appear. Type 8 in each of the fields labeled R, G, and B; you’re setting your black point—what you would like your darkest parts of the picture to be. Click OK. Now click the gray dropper, enter 128 in the R, G, and B fields of the Color Picker, and click OK. Then click the white dropper and enter 245 in those same fields—do we need to remind you to click OK? Thought not. Now click the black dropper and find the darkest part of your image. You can use the RGB readouts in the Info window

Why does everything look pink? Or is that yellow?

(Window > Info) to help you find the lowest (darkest) numbers. When you find your spot, click it. Whatever the value of the pixels at that point were, they have now been shifted to 8, 8, 8. Now, with the white dropper, find the whitest spot (though not a superbright reflection) and click that. Examine the numerical values in the Info window, and you’ll notice that these shadow areas are now balanced with equal values for the R, G, and B
Using the droppers from Levels, set your black, white, and gray points.

PROJECT 8:

Fun with Filters
Add some of these great filters to your image-editing arsenal.
Alien Skin’s Eye Candy 5 We can remember when it was a source of pride to spend an entire day crafting a wisp of smoke in Photoshop. The good news is, that time is gone. Long gone. The better news is that third-party filters have been getting better and better. The Impact, Nature, and Textures filters from Alien Skin’s Eye Candy 5 series ($99 each, $199 for all three, www .alienskin.com) are truly amazing. The filters range from the obscure (one coats your image in ice) to the extremely useful (one crumples paper).

A nice shot—but let’s add some oddness. Drip filter

Andromeda Software’s Artistic Screening Tools Screening and etching are good ways to treat photographs when you want to maintain a graphic look. Andromeda Software’s Artistic Screening Tools (Screens $109; Cutline $74; EtchTone $98; bundle of three $225; www.andromeda.com) open up these worlds for us. The Screens filter subtly converts grayscale images into a variety of different line art screens featuring mezzotints, lines, circles, and waves. Cutline creates beautiful digital engravings and woodcuts. Finally, EtchTone takes photographs and simulates the look of a steel etching, but with the advantages of continuous tone.
24 August 2006

Let’s change this shot, graphically.

Screens

Ah, that’s better!

PROJECT 9:

channels. At the same time, these adjustments pull many of the other areas of your photo into line. Finally, to use the gray dropper you’ll need to find something in your photograph that should be a neutral gray. This might be a piece of metal, the dark side of a cloud, or a shadow on something white. If you think your photo doesn’t have a color cast, you’ll know for sure after clicking on a gray area with the gray dropper. Often the results will look wrong, but that’s because our eyes have already told our brain that the gray we’ve been looking at is gray. But it isn’t. To prove it to yourself, hold any tool over your gray spot and notice that the Info palette will identical numerical readouts for the R, G, and B values—an even gray. Before closing the Levels window, click off the Preview box to see how the photo that had appeared balanced actually had a color cast lurking in its depths. When you do close Levels, Photoshop will give you the option of saving the target values you just set as defaults. Set your target values and save Choose Yes. them for good.

Frame Images on the Cheap
Custom frames are expensive, but cheap, ready-made frames never seem to fit right. Here’s what to do.
You’ve spent all day working on the perfect print of the striped bass you caught last spring. You’ve slipped a fine, expensive sheet of 13-by-19-inch glossy photoquality media into your printer, chose Scale To Fit in the print dialog, and made your print. Later you go to IKEA to pick out a frame and a mat. But what’s this? The store has frames that will accommodate your large print, but the mats that accompany them are not the dimensions you need. What do you do? Of course, there’s always the option of cutting your own mat, but that’s about as fun as cleaning gutters—and it’s much harder than it looks. Unfortunately, you’ll find that having a framing store cut you one is expensive, and you’ll have to pick it up a couple of days later. The answer is to plan your project backward. Make choosing your frame/mat combo the first thing you do. Choose a frame at IKEA, Pottery Barn, or wherever you go for reasonably priced frames. The size of the mat that comes with the frame will determine the size of your print. Note the size of the mat opening (it’s usually printed on the frame packaging), and scale your image to that size plus one quarter-inch in each dimension. This extra margin will provide a small overlap (1/8 inch on all four sides) so that you can be sure the white of the photo media won’t peek out. After you make your print, put it on a flat surface, face up, and then place your mat over it, making sure none of the white of the paper is showing. In three or four places, use Post-Its to stick the mat onto the printout—Post-Its can be removed later without marring the image or the mat. Now carefully pick up the printout-mat assembly and turn it upside down, with the image now facing downward. Using archival tape, secure the printout to the mat along all four edges. Stay on the lookout for small wrinkles on your print that uneven taping might cause; these will prevent your print from staying flat in its mat. Remove the Post-Its and insert this assembly in the frame. You’re done!

Fire

Water Drops

Resources

Discover more creative projects on the web.
HowDesign.com Bookstore
https://www.howdesign.com/store/booksintro.asp

Dover Publications
http://doverpublications.com

This is one of the best resources for instructional design, photography, and typography techniques. The books offered are 20 percent off list price. Canon
http://cp.c-ij.com/english/digitalphotostyle

EtchTone

Cutline

Canon’s creative site for inkjet printing has projects, clip art, scrapbook ideas, and even free digital photos to download. But the real treasure is the 3D Paper Craft section, which provides files for you to print and fold into amazing cutout paper sculptures.

An incredible source for quality clip art, these collections of both decorative elements and spot art from many hundreds of eras and cultures come in book form, ready to scan. In addition, many of Dover’s books come with CDs, so you can download the files directly. A great site to explore and get ideas—remember the old designers’ mantra: Steal from the best, ignore the rest.

MacAddict Art Director Mark Rosenthal has shot photographs all over the world. Well, mostly in his neighborhood—which, for all intents and purposes, is his world.

August 2006

25

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ON THE

DISC
28 August 2006

This month’s Disc features a whopping 32 of our favorite GarageBand effects plug-ins. See p8 for the entire list!

Out Garage
GARAGEBAND
of the

Take

I

Pump up GarageBand with a power pack of potent plug-ins. by David Biedny

n the good old days of rock and roll, the family garage was not where you’d find the family car; guitars, amps, and a cheap drum kit dominated the musty confines of that ersatz car-partment. Nowadays, however, the garage’s mildew and mold have been replaced by the dust bunnies inside your Mac, and software has taken the place of Hammond organs, Pearl drum sets, and Marshall amps. GarageBand is the go-to software for cooking up the next great rock anthem or dance sensation—and there’s a wide world of Audio Units plug-ins that can expand the capabilities of GarageBand in ways you may have never imagined. While many of these plug-ins cost more than the price of the whole iLife package, fear not—great bargains can be found, and even some outstanding tools cost no more than the download time needed to nab ’em. Let’s clean out that garage and get you right to the goodies.

Of Plug-ins and Loops

GarageBand is great—but you can make it even greater.

Y

ou can make great music with GarageBand right out of the box, but its expandability makes it ohso appealing for tailoring your own sonic signature. Apple’s Audio Units—a plug-in technology that allows third-party developers to extend GarageBand’s capabilities—are the key to giving GarageBand a much bigger repertoire.

INSTRUMENTS
The two primary categories of AU plug-ins are instruments and effects. Instruments are software-based generators of sounds, and they come in essentially two types. The first type is based on sampled sounds and includes such greats as such as Native Instruments’ Kompakt and Kontakt

($229 and $449, respectively; www .native-instruments.com), and Mark of the Unicorn’s (aka MOTU) MachFive ($395, www.motu.com). The second category includes fully synthesized plugins such as Green Oak’s Crystal (free, www.greenoak.com/crystal), hardware synths re-created in software such as minimoog V from Arturia ($249, www.arturia.com), and many others. There are also hybrids of these two approaches: synths that use sampled sound as a building block, adding all sorts of synthesis goodies to sampled
August 2006 29

ILLUSTRATION BY MELINDA BECK

waveforms. Native Instruments’ awesome Absynth 3 ($339), for example, can use sampled sounds as oscillators, allowing you to impart a realistic touch to otherwise fully synthetic noodlings. Drum-machine plug-ins often combine sampled drum sounds with different types of rhythmic intelligence—a suitable replacement for the stereotypically flaky human can-beater of rock-and-roll lore. Many of the instrument plug-ins mentioned in this article are available as standalone applications, but it’s their AU versions that we’re interested in here. They work like any other GarageBand instrument, so it’s easy to replace a

recorded plain-Jane piano track with a third-party plug-in—just select the new instrument, and voilà!

EFFECTS
The other major AU plug-in category, effects modify sound coming out of an instrument or change the aural characteristics of loops or recorded audio. Effects range from basics such as equalization and compression, to specialized reverbs, delays, filters, and the like, to outrageous pitch shifters, multitap delays, and more. Effects can be applied to specific tracks or instruments or to an entire mix. In addition to instruments and

effects, there’s a galaxy of loops— prefabricated pieces of songs that you can string together as audio building blocks. GarageBand ships with an extensive loop library, and Apple’s five different Jam Packs ($99 each, www.apple.com) include fresh loops in various categories in addition to sampled sounds, such as the rich orchestral instruments found in the Symphony Orchestra Jam Pack. While there are loads of third-party loops (check out the bargain-priced, luscious loop libraries at http://bandmateloops .com), we’re gonna concentrate on plug-ins—after all, six pages are…well… six pages.

Exploit Plug-in Power

Plug-ins may sound like mere plumbing, but they can make your creativity soar.

J

ump ahead to “Inside Audio Units” (p33) to learn how to install Audio Unit plug-ins, then install the ones you’ve selected—you’ll find more than a few freebies on this month’s Disc that you might want to choose for starters, such as the Crystal synthesizer. Once your chosen Audio Units plug-ins are installed, launch GarageBand and get a new music project up and running. Once the main GarageBand window appears, double-click its default single Piano track (or select that track and press Command-I on the keyboard); the Track Info pane appears, listing the currently available Apple software instruments. The key to using AU plug-ins is simple, but a tad elusive: Click the disclosure arrow labeled Details at the bottomleft of the Track Info window; a pane will open in which you’re given the opportunity to access AU instruments (called Generators) and effects (called, oddly enough, Effects). All of your installed AU instruments should appear below, and clicking any one makes it the currently selected instrument. The pull-down menu to the right includes the installed presets for the selected instrument. If you’ve installed the lovely Crystal freeware synth, clicking this pull-down menu brings up a lengthy list of presets. This feature doesn’t necessarily work for all thirdparty instruments—Arturia’s re-creations
August 2006

Double-click a track, swing open the Details panel, and you’ll be presented with the Generator and Effects options.

of hardware synths, for example, come with loads of presets, but they don’t show up in the Presets pull-down menu; to get to them, you have to go into the editing mode of the plug-in.

PROGRAMMABILITY
Presets are find and dandy, but the real test of any soft synth is its programmability. Click on the pencil button to the right of the Presets pulldown menu and you’ll be taken directly into the programmability interface for the current instrument. It’s here that you can mod to your heart’s desire. Take note that this editing window is live while a song is playing, so if you turn on the Loop button in GarageBand’s transport controls and adjust the loop duration to a segment of your composition that you

want to muck with, you can loop that section while tweaking its sound. Once you’ve got a decent musical groove happening with your selected instrument, it’s time to kick in some effects. With an instrument track selected, access the Details area of the Track Info window just like you did for instruments, above. You’ll see some hardwired GarageBand effects with checkboxes, including Compressor, Equalizer, Echo, and Reverb. But what about those extra two pull-down menus labeled None? That’s where you’ll find your extra AU effects plug-ins. Click on the pull-down menu of either one and you’ll see the stock GarageBand effects at the top and all your extra AU goodies below. Select one of the new guys on the block, and the sound of that track changes instantly. Like instruments, many effects also have built-in preset libraries. If you’ve selected the SupaPhaser, click the Presets pulldown menu on the right and behold the many ways you can change the effect. The pencil button takes you into the SupaPhaser programmability interface, where you can edit away until dawn.

PRESETS
GarageBand allows you to make and save presets even if an AU plug-in itself doesn’t have this ability. When using AU effects without presets, GarageBand’s floating editing window has a preset list located above the main effect interface that allows you to save any state of the plug-in settings as a preset. Unfortunately, you can

30

only use two external AU effects on a GarageBand track at any time—one of the reasons that pro musicians turn to higher-end software such as Logic and Digital Performer. Another major drawback to the way AU effects sit in the audio chain is that you can’t mix the dry (original) signal of a track with the wet (processed) portion of the sound, unless the AU effect has that ability natively. See the sliders for GarageBand’s Echo and Reverb effects? They work by mixing the dry signal with the wet—critical in creating a convincing “space” or “air” around a sound that has added reverb or echo. The left-most slider setting, 0, removes the effect from the mix, while 100 is nothing but the processed signal; you’ll usually want settings in the lower half of the scale. In addition to adding effects to individual tracks, it’s easy to add them to an entire song. In the main GarageBand window, toggle the Master Track on and off by pressing Command-B or selecting Track > Show/Hide Master Track—it’ll appear at the bottom of the main interface. Click it, and the Track Info pane’s Details panel will display the effects available for the entire mix. There is only one pull-down menu for an extra AU effect—use it for equalization or dynamic compression of your entire mix.

There Is Free Lunch!
Artists are generous. Benefit from their generosity.
The selection of freeware and shareware AU plug-ins is truly outstanding—you could easily assemble an awesome sound-sweetening system for little or no money. The freeware synth Crystal (free, on the Disc or www.greenoak.com/ crystal) has the controls you’d expect from a commercial synth, with extensive sound-shaping options and the ability to morph between two completely different preset sounds. Automat (free, on the Disc or www.alphakanal.de/snipsnap/ space/Automat) is a terrifying synth, especially when you discover the RND slider’s C3 Multi Band Compressor and Linear Phase Graphical Equalizer (both free, downloadable from www .apulsoft.ch) also provide pro-quality goodness. Ambience Reverb (donationware, on the Disc or http://magnus .smartelectronix.com) might have a Spartan interface, but under its hood lie tons of great presets and some extreme echo madness. Also, prepare to be warmed and wowed by Expert Sleepers’ fearsome Augustus Loop (on the Disc or www.collective .co.uk/expertsleepers), which lets you be Robert Fripp for a mere 29 bucks. Expert Sleepers also offers the marvelous freeware apps Multitap Delay and Meringue backward delay, as well as some great, inexpensive synths. Bram @ Smartelectronix.com is the mad genius behind SupaPhaser (donationware, on the Disc or http://

It’s hard to believe that the amazingly deep and rich Crystal synth is free.
(randomize) button, which can instantly conjure up menacing digital beasts. DaHornet (free, http://liqihsynth.com/ catalogue.htm)—formerly a commercial product from DashSignature and now a freebie from NUSofting—is a tasty emulation of the classic WASP analog synthesizer. Big Tick Audio’s Cheeze Machine and Ticky Clav (both free, http://bigtick.pastnotecut.org) are delightful spins on the classic quillerqueso ARP and Hohner Clavinet, and are perfect for early pop puff. When it comes to audio effects, the possibilities are endless and the flavors extreme. Blockfish, Spitfish, and Floorfish from digitalfishphones (all free, www.digitalfishphones.com) are a tasty trio of a compressor, de-esser (essential for softening spoken voice), and expander/noise gate, and should be considered essential GarageBand side dishes. The Luxonix LFX-1310 (free, on the Disc or www.luxonix.com) is a sonic Swiss Army knife that performs effects at once and with ease, and slim slow

We adore the Blockfish compressor’s extensive options and wonderful sound.
bram.smartelectronix.com), the ultimate AU phase shifter, and Crazy Ivan (donationware, on the Disc), which can turn your voice inter-dimensionally insane. Koen Tanghe’s KT Granulator (donationware, on the Disc or http:// koen.smartelectronix.com) is a wild, granular delay capable of mayhem. And don’t even get us started on Super Destroy FX’s collection (donationware, on the Disc or http://destroyfx .smartelectronix.com) and bipolar music plug-in pack. Yowza!

GarageBand is so smart, it allows you to create custom presets for plug-ins that don’t usually offer them, such as this free, groovy fuzz box from Audio Damage.

August 2006

31

The samples behind M-Audio’s M-Tron are from the actual master tapes of a classic Mellotron—this plug-in even has periodperfect coffee stains on its top.

Instruments

Go into creative battle with an arsenal of artistic ammunition.
o many outrageously excellent AU plug-ins are available for GarageBand that it’s hard to make a bad choice—it all depends on the flavors you like in your compositional stew. Here are some of our favorites. n Arturia’s re-creations of classic synths are outstanding, and build nicely upon the aural strengths of the originals. The aforementioned minimoog V is the source of deep electronic bass bliss, and the pads and leads are as luscious as silk. For more adventurous souls, the CS-80V ($249) is Vangelis in a plugin, and is perfectly suited to moody soundtrack work of the Blade Runner realm. The ARP2600 V ($249) takes you right into the bubbling synth sounds of “Who Are You” and will put you into programming-nerd heaven (or hell). These plug-ins are processor-intensive, so only fast Macs need apply. n iZotope iDrum ($69.99, www.izotope .com) is a great, simple beatbox, well suited to dance and electronic music. A slick interface, easy programmability, lots of drum kits and grooves, and a low price make this one of the most popular Mac drum machines. n LinPlug is a cool German developer that makes awesome synths, including the stunner Albino 2 ($199, www.linplug .com)—one of our desert-island picks— and the crazy CronoX3 ($139 download, $149 CD), both of which are perfect for dance and electronica. Also check out LinPlug’s potent percussion synth, RM IV ($149). And if you don’t want to shell out the big bucks for Native Instruments’ B4 II ($229), LinPlug’s $49 wonder, daOrgan, is a delicious Hammond B3 clone that might lack all the options of the B4 II, but still has all of its vibe. n M-Audio’s percussion instruments Darbuka and Latigo ($299.95 each,
32 August 2006

S

www.m-audio.com) are delightful for creating Mediterranean or Latin grooves. They both meld sampled instruments and prerecorded beats with playability via a MIDI controller keyboard. The G-Force M-Tron ($129.95) is a re-creation of a ’60s Mellotron—heard as what you thought were strings in the Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever.”

serious stuff, and if you haven’t played with Absynth, it’s about as trippy as its wormwood namesake. Long, evolving sonic landscapes are its specialty, perfect for electronic music and soundtracks. The B4 II is a Hammondorgan simulation extraordinaire, and is the instant answer for R&B, gospel, and Motown jams. If you’re really in a daring mood, plug into Reaktor 5 ($449)—you won’t make it back to Earth soon. n Steinberg has a wide range of sampled instruments, and we’re huge fans of Groove Agent 2 ($299.99, www.steinberg.net). It’s the best sample-based virtual drummer in the AU universe, containing an aural history of the last 50 years of drumming styles and

The suave beats of Latigo, M-Audio’s Latin groovebox, are as slick as its interface. n MOTU’s MX4 ($295) has some of the most extensive cross-modulation programmability we’ve ever seen. The sound is nothing short of stellar: thick and dynamic. The MachFive sampler is an industrial-strength workhorse, with integrated waveform editing and effects. n Native Instruments makes some

The awesome Albino 2 synth from LinPlug is perfect for dance music and electronica.

riffs. And Steinberg has the rest of the band covered as well, with The Grand 2.0 (acoustic piano), Virtual Guitarist, and Virtual Bassist ($299.99 each). The Virtual Instruments bundle ($149.99) is a great value, with scaled-down versions of the main offerings that sound just dandy in your GarageBand noodlings.

Software isn’t the only thing in GarageBand’s toy box. Hardcore GarageBanders will appreciate M-Audio’s iControl ($179, www.m-audio.com), a mixer and control surface tailored specifically for GarageBand that delivers hands-on control of software commands. The company’s Trigger Finger ($249.95) is a tabletop drummer’s best friend, with 16 velocity-sensitive pads that are great for triggering drum samples and musical passages (in conjunction with a sampler). M-Audio offers loads of great keyboard controllers, too, but also check out Korg’s Legacy Collection ($625, www .korg.com), which includes a unique USB 3/4-scale version of a classic MS-20 patch cord synth and excellent digital re-creations of three classic Korg hardware synths: the Wavestation wavetable synth, the Polysix , and the MS-20.

Hardware Helpers

ike their visual cousins, Photoshop filters, AU effects are capable of everything from subtle enhancements to massive paradigm shifts. Like any seasoning, they should be used with care and grace. Or not—it all depends on your sense of taste.

L

To paraphrase Gertrude Stein, a sound is a sound is a sound—until you sculpt it with effects.
makes it a great deal.
n PSP Audioware’s PSP MixPack

Effects

EQUALIZATION & DYNAMICS
These are the bread and butter of sound sweetening. Equalizers deliver precise control over frequency characteristics and often have an integrated compressor—a critical tool for making instruments or vocals sound smooth and consistent by insuring that quieter passages are carefully balanced with more-intense audio. Limiting ensures that signals don’t overload and turn to digital mush, and noise gating keeps down the bad noise while letting the good noise (music) rise to the surface. n While GarageBand includes a basic equalizer, it’s easily trumped by either ChannelStrip GarageBand ($89, www .mhlabs.com) or Wave Arts’ TrackPlug 4 ($89.95, www.wavearts.com). Both

($149, www.pspaudioware.com) is an outstanding collection of plug-ins for juicing up treble, bass, compression, and saturation. You know that deep, subharmonic oomph that permeates hiphop? That’s PSP MixBass, part of PSP

mind—and your Mac. Its interface is extremely slick and intuitive, and its range of presets truly impressive. n Camel Audio’s CamelSpace ($85, www.camelaudio.com) is a weird and wacky stereo delay, panner (the sound moves right and left in the stereo field) and flanger, all controlled with a 128step gate sequencer. It creates highly complex—and seductive—wonders out of drum loops, guitar licks, and anything else you feed it.

In the earlier days of Mac-based audio, there were a number of competing flavors of audio plug-ins. In the Mac OS X era, however, Apple delivered a standard format: Audio Units. AU is supported by any sequencing or recording package you’re ever likely to use, whether in the realm of GarageBand or in professional recording studios. While proud owners of Digidesign’s Pro Tools rigs have their own dedicated plug-in format (TDM), it requires Pro Tools hardware, while AU plug-ins work just fine with or without Pro Tools. To get Audio Units into GarageBand, copy them into the /Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/ Components folder. (That’s the root-level Library, by the way.) Make sure to include support files such as presets—place them in /Library/Audio/Presets. You’ll be able to see your new plug-ins in any app that supports AU plug-ins, such as Apple Logic. Also, any time you install a new plug-in, you’ll need to relaunch GarageBand.

Inside Audio Units

MixPack. And then there’s the unbelievable PSP VintageWarmer, which takes digital brittleness and turns it into warm analog velvetness. It’s the best $149 you can invest in your overall sound. n Once your mix is done, you can add the previously mentioned equalizers to GarageBand’s Master track to fine-tune the overall tonal quality, or you can turn to Wave Arts’ outstanding FinalPlug 5 ($199.95) and MultiDynamic 5 ($199.95) plug-ins to add extra presence and sheen, something to consider if you plan on cutting CDs of your final opus.

n PSP Audioware’s Nitro ($149) is another odd jack-of-all-delays.

REVERB, DELAY, & FILTERS
PSP VintageWarmer is the perfect plugin to add analog warmth and punch to individual tracks or an overall mix.

iZotope’s Spectron has a vast range of dynamic effects, and its interface is one of the slickest in the known universe.

deliver fine-tuned equalization and compression and excellent noise gating. We give TrackPlug 4 the edge, as it offers 10 bands of equalization to ChannelStrip’s six and is less demanding of your CPU. WaveArts also has a more full-featured TrackPlug 5 ($199.95), with more options for expanded compression and gating, but version 4’s $90 price tag

A touch of reverb goes a long way to making vocals and instruments come alive. Delay places your sounds in a virtual canyon with echoes galore. Filters add frequency and tonal machinations. n Wave Arts offers solid winners with MasterVerb 4 ($89.95) and MasterVerb 5 ($199.95); both come with loads of potent presets that add weight and depth to your drum tracks or voice. n iZotope’s supremely slick Spectron ($129.99, www.izotope.com) delivers a wide range of delay, filtering, and other time-domain esoterica that will tax you

This plug-in is capable of turning normal sounds into otherworldly excursions with extensive controls and customization options and a boatload of cool presets to experiment with and build on. n Audio Damage’s corporatesounding 914 Fixed Filter Bank ($39, www.audiodamage.com) is anything but vanilla-sounding. This bargain is a digital re-creation of the venerable 914 filter from the massive Moog Modular analog beast that provides amazing mojo for drums and guitars.
August 2006 33

David Biedny cut his teeth on an ARP 2600 while growing up in Venezuela.

Field Guide to HOME ENTERTAINMENT TERMS

Entertaining Intelligence
by Logan Kugler

T

hirty years ago, when shopping for a TV in your local consumer-electronics store, you had two options: black and white or color. Today you’re faced with a pile of decisions. And it’s not just TVs that have become complicated—the same is true for virtually every home entertainment component. Here’s a quick look at some of the language you should know before dropping several thousand simoleons on a new home theater system.

Resolutions
480i (SDTV) & 480p (EDTV)
The i in 480i stands for interlaced, which means the video image is drawn in alternating horizontal scan lines—the first pass draws all the odd-numbered lines, and the second, all the even-numbered lines. Progressive video, indicated by the p, draws a whole image in one pass, resulting in less image flicker. The number before the letter describes the total number of horizontal lines; 480i has been the standard resolution for over 20 years, and it’s what you’re watching on a good ol’ fashioned boob tube.

COMPOSITE
A type of analog video information that is transmitted over a single signal. Because of the restrictions of using just one signal to transmit video, the highest resolution a composite cable can transmit is 480i.

DVI
Digital Visual Interface is a technology designed to maximize the visual quality of a digital display device such as an LCD display. DVI works by transmitting the desired brightness of each pixel as digital data; the display reads each number and applies that brightness to the appropriate pixel.

720p (HDTV)
As explained above, the p stands for progressive and 720 indicates the number of horizontal lines in the image. The more horizontal lines you have, the sharper the picture; 720p is considered the starting range of high-definition TV.

HDMI
High-Definition Multimedia Interface is a widely industrysupported, uncompressed digital audio-video interface. Its most impressive feature is the fact that it can transfer both audio and video over its single-cable design. Even better, it does it all in HD.

1080i & 1080p
1080i is widely regarded as a true high-def resolution. However, it’s not that much better than 720p because 1080i is interlaced, not progressive like 720p. But if you have a 1080p HDTV in your bedroom, consider yourself fortunate, as it provides the clearest picture available in any television thus far.

OPTICAL
Similar to HDMI in the sense that it’s industry supported and uncompressed, an optical audio connection transfers digital sound in up to 7.1 channels to an audio receiver or television, all in a single cable, and delivers the best sound possible for today’s audio electronics.

Connections
COAXIAL
If you have cable TV in your home, chances are you’ve seen a coaxial cable—it’s the cable that all modern cable companies use to transfer a television signal from the broadcasting station to the TVs inside your house.

S-VIDEO
A type of analog video information that is transmitted or stored as two separate signals, unlike composite video, which carries the entire set of signals in one package—and the more signals you have, the better the picture is going to be.

Displays
CRT
Cathode ray tubes were used in all television sets until late last century and the advent of plasma screens, LCD TVs, DLP (see next entry), and other technologies. As a result of CRT

COMPONENT
A type of analog video information that is transmitted or stored as three separate signals, versus composite’s one (see next entry), resulting in high-quality video images.

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August 2006

technology, television (even non-CRT sets) continues to be referred to as “the tube” well into the 21st century.

DLP
Digital Light Processing is used in projectors and projection TVs. The brainchild of Texas Instruments, this technology is based on an optical semiconductor that allows light to be modulated digitally via millions of tiny movable mirrors on silicon chips.

disc. Now its proponents claim it’s not an acronym at all—DVD simply stands for, well, DVD. This optical media can be used for data storage and is best known for storing movies with video and sound quality that are higher than that of VHS.

HD-DVD
HD-DVD, Blu-ray’s main competitor, is another successor to DVD that’s designed for storage of high-definition video and sound. HD-DVD discs can store up to 30GB.

LCD
A liquid crystal display is a thin, flat-panel device that can produce picture quality equal or superior to a plasma display (see below), but without some of a plasma TV’s pitfalls. An LCD TV consumes very small amounts of power, typically lasts longer, and is thinner than a plasma TV, but costs more per square inch.

TVs
EDTV
Enhanced-definition television is not as clear as HDTV, yet provides quality that’s better than that of SDTV. EDTV resolutions include 480p and 576p.

OLED
An emerging technology, organic light-emitting diode displays require no backlight to function and, as a result, can run off power supplies as feeble as AA batteries.

HDTV
High-definition television has a higher resolution than traditional formats (NTSC and PAL) allow. HDTV is broadcast digitally and can support multiple resolutions (480, 720, and 1080).

PLASMA
A plasma display is widely favored by many because of the quality and size you can get for less money than you’d pay for any other large flat-panel display technology.

NTSC
The analog television system in use in Korea, Japan, Canada, and the United States.

PROJECTION
Similar to CRTs in impending obsolescence, projection TVs are increasingly hard to find due to the fact that the newer DLP TVs outperform standard projection TVs while maintaining the same projection-based technology.

PAL
An acronym for phase-alternating line, PAL is the system used for broadcast television in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.

SED
Still in prototype form as of May 2006, Surface-conduction Electronemitter Displays combine the slim form factor of LCDs with the high contrast ratios, refresh rates, and picture quality of CRTs.

SDTV
Standard-definition television refers to television systems that can only televise resolutions that are lower than 720p (HDTV). This includes 480i, 288p, and 240p.

SXRD
Used in home theater projectors, Sony’s Silicon X-tal Reflective Display technology provides crisp 1080i HD resolutions for those looking for a picture that’s bigger than any TV on the market today. X-tal, by the way, is Sony-speak for crystal.

Audio
DOLBY DIGITAL (EX)
This audio compression technology, developed by Dolby Laboratories, started the whole surround-sound phenomenon. Dolby Digital EX is an extension of the standard Dolby Digital sound compression and is used for audio receivers supporting 6.1 or 7.1 channels.

Discs
BLU-RAY
One competitor for the next generation of optical media. Blu-ray, backed by Sony, is a an optical format designed for storage of high-definition video and sound. Unlike its predecessor, DVD, Blu-ray can store up to 50GB per disc and has a lot of Hollywood studio support resting atop its wide shoulders.

DTS (ES)
Digital Theatre System Extended Surround, a multichannel surround-sound format used for both commercial and consumer applications, is typically a feature on audio receivers that support 6.1 or more channels.

THX
The trade name of a high-fidelity sound reproduction system seen in movie theaters, screening rooms, home theaters, computer speakers, gaming consoles, and car audio systems.

DVD
Originally, DVD stood for digital video disc, then digital versatile

Logan Kugler has a home entertainment system that does all of the above and more. It even makes him breakfast in the morning and does his laundry. Actually, that’s a lie.

August 2006

35

RATIN¬S
You’ll be blown away. You’ll be impressed. You’ll be satisfied. You’ll be disappointed. You’ll be pissed off.

REVIEWS
better living through smarter shopping

37

When is a mouse not just a mouse? When it’s armed with a laser. OK, it’s not a laser of the Austin Powers variety, but Logitech’s S 530 mouse (pictured) uses a laser for precision cursor movement. Next month we’ll have reviews of Apple’s Final Cut Express HD video-editing app, Canon’s EOS 30D digital SLR camera, QuarkXPress 7 page-layout software, Motorola’s SLVR mobile phone, and more.
38 13-inch 1.83GHz MacBook notebook Mac 42 17-inch MacBook Pro notebook Mac 42 Cordless Desktop S 530 Laser for Mac keyboard and mouse 53 CyberTablet 8600 tablet 40 Evolt E-330 SLR camera 41 Final Draft AV screenwriting software 49 LX Desk Mount Notebook Arm notebook stand 43 MemoryMiner photo organizer 50 Mercury On-The-Go FireWire 800+USB 2.0 portable hard drive 49 Micro Mini Hard Drive 8GB portable hard drive 47 miniStack V2 external hard drive 44 MojoWorld 3 3D-world generator 47 mTune-N iPod nano headphones 48 Photosmart 475 photo printer 46 PowerShot S80 point-and-shoot camera 50 SyncMaster 940BF LCD display 52 ThunderDock iPod speaker stand

Games

57 Bullet Candy 1.0.2 shoot-em-up game review 56 Platypus shooter game review 56 RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Soaked! tips and tricks 55 The Sims 2: Nightlife expansion pack review 56 The Sims 2: Open for Business coming soon 55 World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade coming soon 57 The Xbox 360 and the Mac Collide game news

PHOTOGRAPH BY SAMANTHA BERG

We’d spend our own hard-earned money on this product.

Universal application that runs natively on both PowerPC and Intel Macs.

August 2006

37

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REVIEWS

better living through smarter shopping

processor clock speed, and the iBook G4 was left in the dust. Buy. More. RAM. Hot stuff. Front Row and the included Apple Remote are a pleasure, but when we watched a DVD of Lawrence of Arabia—a full three hours and 10 minutes of it on one battery charge—the underside of the MacBook became ludicrously hot (and no, our MacBook’s cooling vents weren’t blocked). This is one toasty puppy; even Apple’s Web site warns, “Prolonged contact with your body could cause discomfort and potentially a burn.” One final niggle: To get good gaming The MacBook (right) is more compact and has a brighter display than the 14-inch iBook G4 (left). performance, you have to sacrifice image quality—we had to turn off all of the graphics settings that make Doom 3 (the Universal version) look diabolical, and use CAPABLE CONSUMER-LEVEL NOTEBOOK 640-by-480-pixel screen resolution to get subsystem reserves 64MB of system framerates of even 25 frames per second e’ve been living with the new RAM, if you plan to use your new ’Book from the aforementioned Intel GMA 950 MacBook for a week or so now, and for Photoshop or InDesign work, equip it graphics subsystem. At higher resolutions what was starry-eyed love at first sight has with a minimum of 1GB of RAM. and more detail, the GMA 950 chokes. mellowed into a more mature relationship. The bottom line. Don’t let our carping We’re still enamored, but not so infatuated Case in point: Our 1.83GHz MacBook dissuade you from ditching your iBook G4 as to ignore its imperfections. with 512MB of RAM took 4.25 times as long and upgrading to a MacBook—it’s our job This entry-level notebook is compact, to complete our real-world Photoshop CS2 to point out the pimples on its otherwise lightweight—although, at 5.2 pounds, Actions test than did a 2.16GHz MacBook beautiful countenance. When equipped about a third of a pound heavier than Pro with 1GB of RAM, and 3.5 times as long with a reasonable amount of RAM, it’s the iBook G4 it replaces—and features as a 2.0GHz MacBook Pro, also equiped a fine performer—and we didn’t even a 13.3-inch widescreen display that’s with 1GB of RAM—it was even outpaced mention its dead-simple RAM and hard noticeably brighter than the iBook’s. The by a 1GHz iBook G4 with a measly 256MB drive upgradeability, its pop-off MagSafe glossy nature of the display provides rich of RAM. The performance gaps were Power Adapter, or its nifty magnetic colors and a deep black, but in certain similar in InDesign CS2 and still dramatic, latch.—Rik Myslewski lighting conditions reflected glare can though less so, in Photoshop Elements 4. be annoying. At its native resolution However, when we boosted the MacBook’s MacBook MacBook Pro (15 ”) of 1,280 by 780 pixels, the MacBook RAM to 1GB, performance differences $1,099 to $1,499 $1,999 to $2,499 Price provides about 20 percent more pixelage on most apps were again proportional to 1.83GHz to 2.0GHz 2.0GHz to 2.16GHz CPU Speed than the iBook, but type and other 60GB, 80GB 80GB, 100GB Hard Drive 512MB 512MB, 1GB Stock RAM screen elements are only a bit over 80 two one SO DIMMs percent as large as those displayed on its 13.3 inches 15.4 inches Display 14.1-inch predecessor. The MacBook starts at $1,099; the 15-inch 1,280 by 800 1,440 by 900 Resolution standard optional (free) Glossy Cram it with RAM. In our testing using MacBook Pro, $1,999. They both have display Universal apps, the MacBook performed built-in Bluetooth, AirPort Extreme, Gigabit yes Self-dimming no no yes similarly to its more expensive big Ethernet, two USB 2.0 and one FireWire 400 Backlit keyboard brother, the MacBook Pro, after taking ports; an iSight, an Apple Remote, Front Row, Graphics Intel GMA 950 Radeon X1600 into account the different clock speeds of a MagSafe Power Adapter, and analog and 64MB (shared) 128MB, 256MB Video RAM yes Dual-link DVI no the ’Books’ Core Duo processors. Testing digital optical audio in and out ports; plus 2,560 by 1,600 using non-Universal applications showed 2MB of shared on-chip L2 cache and 667MHz External video 1,920 by 1,200 optional ($19) included Mini-DVI to similar results but uncovered one frontside buses. So what do you get—besides VGA none ExpressCard/34 Expansion enormous caveat: Since Rosetta, Apple’s an aluminum body, a SuperDrive, and the Size (inches) 1.08 x 12.78 x 8.92 1.0 x 14.1 x 9.6 PowerPC-to-Intel translator, stores some word “Pro” stenciled on the display—for your Weight 5.2 5.6 (pounds) of its translated code in RAM, and since extra $900? Quite a bit, actually. the MacBook’s Intel GMA 950 graphics

MacBook
W

PRO OR NO?

COMPANY: Apple SPECIFICATIONS: CONTACT: 408-996-1010, www.apple.com See “Pro or No?” above PRICE: $1,099 (1.83GHz Intel Core Duo, tested), $1,299 (2.0GHz white), $1,499 (2.0GHz black)

GOOD NEWS: Good price. Great performance on Universal apps. Easy serviceability. Front Row and Apple Remote. BAD NEWS: Runs hot. Graphics subsystem uses system RAM. Performance hit when using non-Universal apps with Rosetta.

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August 2006

adsbygoogle.com

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REVIEWS

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Evolt E-330
UNCONVENTIONAL SLR CAMERA
ups with the camera on a tripod, moving a little green target box on the screen to perform a 10x magnification of sections of the image. We were then able to critically focus on those areas without moving the camera or zooming in, both of which would have required us to reframe the image. If macro or tabletop photography is your thing, this feature is priceless. The E-330 delivered beautifully sharp pictures with virtually no noise up to and including ISO 400. And although ISO 800 is a bit noisy, it’s tolerable. However, we found that the camera’s noise-reduction feature (which can’t be turned off) softened images a little too much for our liking at ISO 1600. Aside from that, exposures are right on, and color is near perfect. The camera also has an excellent range of image-adjustment settings for color, tone, and sharpness, as well as lightning-fast writing to memory cards. Buttons and dials are in the right places, and the grip is extremely comfortable. We liked the option of being able to

T

he Evolt E-330 is the first interchangeable-lens digital SLR camera that allows live previewing of images on its 2.5-inch LCD. For most photographers it’s probably not a big deal, since SLR cameras let you see an accurate, through-the-lens image of your shot in the optical viewfinder. But live LCD framing can be handy when holding the camera up high to shoot over a crowd or down low for dramatic angles. And it can be invaluable for shooting small objects and ultra close-ups with the camera on a tripod—you don’t have to straddle the tripod or use a step stool to look through the viewfinder. An image viewed in the optical finder of a digital SLR first passes through the lens upside-down and is then reflected (hence the reflex) by a series of mirrors so you can see it correctly. However, the position of one of the mirrors prevents the transmission of a live image preview to the LCD. In the E-330, Olympus positions a small, second sensor in the reflex viewing path that allows the image to be displayed at about 95 percent of its size on the LCD—this mode is called Live View A. In Live View B mode, the mirror that’s in the way is moved aside

The E-330 is the first digital SLR camera to offer live image previews on its tilting LCD.

and locked in place so photos can be previewed exactly as the camera’s 7.5-megapixel NMOS sensor, called Live MOS, will record them. Both methods work well when used appropriately, but each has its own nuances. Different views. We used Live View A for general photography, but when we held the camera away from us, we had to remember to flip a lever to prevent light from backing With the E-330’s Live View B mode, you can target any part of the image into the viewfinder, for 10x critical focusing without shifting the camera or zooming the lens. which can cause manually control the flash intensity, underexposed images. In Live View A, especially useful for close-ups. Menus you can use autofocus—but remember, could use a bit of work, though; that’s you only see about 95 percent of the always been Olympus’ Achilles heel. actual image you are shooting. The bottom line. The E-330’s liveLive View B mode lets you see the view capability is a technological actual size of the image the E-330’s Live breakthrough that you’ll find quite MOS sensor will capture. But in this useful, especially when you’re shooting mode, you have to manually focus the at odd angles.—Arthur Bleich camera. We used this mode for closeGOOD NEWS: Excellent image quality. Live image previews on bright, 2.5-inch, tilting LCD. The 14-45mm lens is a gem. BAD NEWS: Sluggish manual focus. Menus can be confusing. Images somewhat soft at ISO 1600.

COMPANY: Olympus REQUIREMENTS: USB, CONTACT: 800-622-6372, www.olympus.com Mac OS 10.1 or later PRICE: $999 (body only), $1,099 (with 1445mm lens)

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17-inch MacBook Pro
HUMONGOUS NOTEBOOK
pple debuted its first 17-inch notebook about three years ago, and we’re still gasping, “Gosh, that sucker’s big!” every time we take the wraps off a new 17-incher. In this case, it’s the 17-inch MacBook Pro, Apple’s first plus-sized ’Book with an Intel processor. For the lowdown on what’s inside the new 17-inch MacBook Pro we tested, read the gray box below. The 17-inch MacBook Pro is $300 more than the 15-inch 2.16GHz MacBook Pro ( May/06, p36), but you get the bigger screen, more hard drive capacity (the 15-inch MacBook Pro has a 100GB hard drive), an 8x double-layer SuperDrive (versus a 4x single-layer SuperDrive), a FireWire 800 port (the 15-inch MacBook Pro doesn’t have FireWire 800), and three USB 2.0 ports instead of two. That’s a lot for 300 bucks. You can also choose between a 5,400 rpm, 120GB hard drive, or a 7,200 rpm, 100GB drive, at no cost. To gauge the MacBook Pro’s speed, we ran several application-based tests on both it and a 17-inch PowerBook G4 with a 1.67GHz G4 processor. When using Universal apps (software that includes code designed to run on Intel processors), the MacBook Pro offers impressive speed gains over the PowerBook G4. When creating a OneStep DVD from a movie in iDVD, the MacBook Pro was 30 percent faster than the PowerBook G4. When applying a sepia tone video effect in iMovie HD, the MacBook Pro was 34 percent faster. In GarageBand, the MacBook Pro was 33 percent faster than the PowerBook G4 when performing a Send Song To iTunes task. As we experienced with the 15-inch
COMPANY: Apple CONTACT: 408-996-1010, www.apple.com PRICE: $2,799

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Cordless Desktop S 530 Laser for Mac
CUSTOMIZABLE KEYBOARD AND MOUSE
he Cordless Desktop S 530 Laser for Mac’s advantage is the range of its customizable buttons. The mouse has eight buttons. You can reprogram them to control brightness, eject a CD, shut down your Mac, launch the App Switcher, or open any app, document, folder, or Web site. The mouse’s scroll wheel doesn’t roll smoothly or omnidirectionally, but rather in stepped increments. However, it does tilt side to side, which is helpful. The keyboard features a cornucopia of preprogrammed buttons. It has buttons for shutting down, controlling the volume, and launching iTunes, iPhoto, Spotlight, email, and a Web browser. There are also iTunes controls (Play and Pause, Forward and Back) as well as Scroll and Back buttons. The keyboard is flat, and its keys feel great when you’re typing. However, we found the palm rest to be a bit wide, which made it difficult to feel our way to the right row of keys when we had the keyboard tucked away on a tray. The keyboard has no USB ports. The bottom line. Even though the S 530 isn’t perfect, it’s a useful keyboard and mouse.—Cathy Lu

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Apple’s 17-incher gets Intel-icized.

MacBook Pros (and, come to think of it, every other Intel-based Mac), running a non-Universal app with Rosetta (Apple’s translator that lets you run non-Universal apps on Intel-based Macs) can actually be slower than the same app running on a PowerPC Mac or ’Book. For example, in our Adobe Photoshop CS2 Actions test, the PowerBook G4 was actually 11 percent faster than the MacBook Pro. In our Adobe InDesign CS2 PDF Export test, the PowerBook G4 was 27 percent faster. And in our Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 Auto Smart Fix test, the PowerBook G4 was 28 percent faster. We tested battery life by watching Lawrence of Arabia on DVD. The MacBook Pro lasted 2 hours and 45 minutes—more than enough to get through the first DVD of the movie, and 11 minutes longer than the PowerBook G4. The bottom line. The 17-inch MacBook Pro is ideal for video, audio, and imaging pros—Apple’s Final Cut Studio (see Get Info, p14), iLife ’06, and Aperture 1.1 are Universal apps, so you’ll reap the speed benefits. But if all you want is the big, bright, wide screen, go ahead and indulge yourself.—Roman Loyola

Controls at your fingertips.
COMPANY: Logitech CONTACT: 800-231-7717, www.logitech.com PRICE: $99 REQUIREMENTS: USB, Mac OS 10.2.8 or later, 2 AA and 3 AAA batteries

SPECIFICATIONS: 2.16GHz Intel Core Duo, 1GB (single SO DIMM) 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM, 100GB 7,200-rpm SATA hard drive, 8x double-layer SuperDrive, 17-inch 1,680by-1,050-pixel widescreen display, 256MB ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 video subsystem

GOOD NEWS: Fast performance when using Universal applications. Loads of improved capabilities compared to the 15-inch MacBook Pro. BAD NEWS: Size may be unwieldy for some. Performance hit when using non-Universal applications with Rosetta.

GOOD NEWS: Tons of programmable buttons. Sideto-side mouse scrolling. BAD NEWS: Keyboard lacks USB ports. Incremental scrolling can be a bear.

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August 2006

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SoftRAID 33 SoftRAID

The only software offering The only software offering instantaneous, ongoing data instantaneous, ongoing data protection for both protection for both PowerPC and Intel Macs. PowerPC and Intel Macs.

Show your new Show your new Mac you care! Mac you care!

Get a free demo at at Get a free demo www.softraid.com www.softraid.com

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SoftRAID is a trademark of SoftRAID LLC LLC SoftRAID is a trademark of SoftRAID Mac Mac the Mac Mac logotrademarks of of and and the logo are are trademarks Apple Computer, Inc., Inc., registered inU.S. U.S. Apple Computer, registered in the the and other countries. and other countries.

SoftRAID, LLC SoftRAID, LLC

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MojoWorld can produce great results, but the journey is a strange one.

MojoWorld 3
FRUSTRATING 3D WORLD GENERATOR
ost Mac terrain-generator apps work on landscapes where the viewpoint ranges from a few feet to 30 miles above the virtual surface. MojoWorld is different. It’s optimized to work on a global scale, with views as far away as outer space. Pandromeda waxes lyrical about the dreamlike possibilities, such as creating flight paths hundreds or thousands of miles in length, but MojoWorld’s interface interferes with the fantasy. In MojoWorld, your terrain has no borders. The camera can move in any direction until it arrives back at your starting point, without the need to manually create additional terrain. Annoyingly, the slow preview window can sometimes provide only a sketchy idea of what the rendered landscape will look like. When adding complexshaped boulders with the new Boulder tool, for example, you only see a sphere for positioning purposes. How can you orient complex shapes under these conditions? There’s a postage-stampsize preview, but it’s too small and
COMPANY: Pandromeda CONTACT: 304-788-7894, www.pandromeda.com PRICE: $199, $149 (upgrade)

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updates too slowly to be of real value. Terrain creation. MojoWorld can create latitude-based terrain zones—to simulate ice caps, for example. You can also create a parameter bomb, which is a user-defined square or circular area that contains localized terrain, trees, a river system, imported terrain from Bryce, 3D models, and more. If you use a parameter bomb to create localized terrain, the new creation blends seamlessly into the existing terrain; the ability to create freehand parameter bombs would have been useful here. MojoWorld doesn’t provide a multiviewport configuration, so you can only add new features in a single view. Having said that, the app’s perspective view has the most-responsive and bestdesigned scene-navigation controls of any 3D program we’ve ever used. MojoWorld’s greatest weakness is its terrain-editing tools, which are virtually nonexistent. You can’t manually sculpt a crater or a canyon. Instead, you select a formula that generates such objects, and then insert them using parameter

bombs. Alternatively, you can import them from other apps. The interface is infuriatingly obscure; it feels like you need an Egyptologist to interpret all the hieroglyphic-like icons. Some are symbols, some tell you that you need the Pro version to use a feature, and some are weird-looking sliders—things can quickly get overwhelming. Pandromeda has tried to simplify processes in a number of ways, such as presets and a Planet Wizard to select general planet attributes. Another prominent feature is the Layout mode. While it’s not a wizard, this mode removes most of the complex tools, provides vast amounts of tool-tip help, and, through a sequence of tabbed panels, provides a logical workflow for scene creation. It’s handy, but no substitute for a well-designed main interface. The whole app should be as well thought out as this. MojoWorld has a lot of potential. It’s undoubtedly competent at creating weird, sci-fi-lookin’ planets with cooled lava flows, sharp rock escarpments, sweeping dunes, and towering glaciers. It’s just not so good at creating Earthlike scenes or precise, user-defined fine detail. The bottom line. Once you’re past the tough learning curve, the initially frustrating user interface, the needless obscurity, the difficulty of creating exact features, and the totally different way of thinking about landscapes, MojoWorld is quite fun to play with, and the view randomizer gives you that “explorer” feeling. But while it can produce great results and has a few clever tricks up its sleeve, its competitors are much more flexible and effective.—Mat Broomfield

REQUIREMENTS: 1GHz G4, 256MB RAM, Mac OS 9 or later, 350MB disk space

GOOD NEWS: Infinite views. Fun to play with once you grasp it. Includes a simplifier wizard. BAD NEWS: Sluggish and infuriating interface. No Undo function.

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August 2006

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PowerShot S80
AMBITIOUS POINT-AND-SHOOT CAMERA
S80, the noise was more noticeable than he eight-megapixel, 3.6x opticalwhat we’ve seen from other comparably zoom PowerShot S80 has everything priced cameras. we expect from a Canon camera: ease of We also took several pictures in use, intuitive design, and a great set of bright daylight under cloudless skies. features. Unfortunately, it was also a bit The blue sky appeared to be out of an of a letdown. Impressionist painting, with the amount We used the PowerShot S80 of noise increasing as we raised the to take several pictures of a Macbeth ColorChecker chart (a grid of different colors used to check the color balance of the camera you’re using—check it out at www.gretagmacbeth .com). We shot photos using shutter speeds of 1/125 and 1/60 of a second with the camera set at all of its ISO values (50, 100, 200, and 400) in open shade on a sunny day. Our images all displayed noise—grainy artifacts in an image—ranging from simply noticeable to A whole lotta obnoxiously mottled. We pixels in a li’l camera. experienced the most noise at ISO 400 and the least at ISO 50, but the images at ISO 50 seemed underexposed. To a degree, this was to be expected, ISO. The best combination of ISO and since, in general, the higher the ISO shutter speed we arrived at was at ISO and the longer the exposure, the more 100 and a minimum shutter speed of noise you get. But with the PowerShot 1/80 of a second or faster. We also took several shots of scenery, people, events, and more, and the good news is that GO LOW ISO, BRO despite the noise, we were quite pleased To fit eight or more megapixels with the camera’s accurate and vivid on the sensor of a point-andshoot camera, the pixel-capturing color fidelity. elements on that sensor must The PowerShot S80, which stores shrink. As their size decreases, the images on an SD card, is as compact as amount of image noise they produce any other eight-megapixel camera on the increases—and point-and-shoot cameras can rarely handle the robust market. The sliding door that protects noise-reduction algorithms used the lens when it’s not in use also acts as by professional digital cameras. To the power switch. The camera is quite help cut down the noise, use low ISO easy to use with just one hand, as all settings whenever possible, plus the controls are within easy reach with it adequate lighting. held in your right hand. The PowerShot

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S80 uses a wheel to adjust shutter speed or aperture settings if it’s set in either of those modes. The wheel was annoyingly loose—it’s too easy to have a finger resting on it, unknowingly rotating the setting to something else. The mode dial is on the upper-right side of the camera. To switch between Auto, Program, Shutter Speed Priority, Aperture Priority, Manual, Custom, Video, Stitch Assist, My Colors, and Scene modes, you use your thumb to move the dial up and down. An icon that corresponds to the mode you selected appears on the LCD. It’s easy to see and use. When you select the Scene mode, you get more shooting modes, including Night Scene, Underwater, Digital Macro, Portrait, and Landscape. You navigate through these choices using the same wheel you use to adjust shutter and aperture speed. It’s a lot easier to use than it sounds. One of the PowerShot S80’s best features is its 2.5-inch LCD. It’s excellent for reviewing your images, and works well most of the time when framing your shot—and when we had some problems seeing the LCD in bright sunlight, the optical-zoom viewfinder was more than adequate. The bottom line. For everyday pointand-shoot moments, the PowerShot S80 is a capable camera. But temper your expectations when it comes to image quality from an eight-megapixel pointand-shoot camera.—Rick Oldano

TIP

COMPANY: Canon CONTACT: 800-385-2155, www.canon.com PRICE: $549

REQUIREMENTS: USB, Mac OS 10.2 or later

GOOD NEWS: Easy to use. Large and good-looking LCD. Good color accuracy. BAD NEWS: Noisy images.

46

August 2006

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48

REVIEWS

better living through smarter shopping

Photosmart 475
ROAD-WORTHY PHOTO PRINTER
Large image files took some time to appear on the printer’s LCD; for example, five-megapixel images took a lengthy seven seconds each to come up on the LCD. Smaller images files didn’t take as long; 1MB photos, for example, took about three seconds to appear. It took about two minutes to print a 4-by-6-inch photo at the printer’s Best setting, and 85 seconds at Normal. We didn’t find a noticeable difference in quality between the two settings, but the Photosmart 475 defaults to Best and had to be tediously reset to Normal by diving through menus each time—a real pain. It took two minutes and 33 seconds to print a 5-by-7-inch photo at Best and one minute, 43 seconds at Normal. The Photosmart 475 uses a tricolor ink cartridge; HP claims images will last 82 years under glass before beginning to fade. There’s no black ink cartridge— dark tones are produced by blending the three colors, resulting in more ink being used and longer drying times. Prints on Premium Photo Glossy paper (which provides stunning image quality) needed several hours to cure, and we had to gingerly handle them by the edges to prevent smearing. After the photos are dry, however, they aren’t water resistant. HP has a cheaper, quick-drying, waterproof paper that we also tried—it reproduced muddy shadow details and lacked the brilliance of Premium Photo Glossy paper. The printer has many menu options– sharpening, brightening, red-eye removal, black-and-white printing (with a special cartridge), printing multiple images per page, decorative frames, picture zooming and rotation, border options, image storage using keywords, and more. The bottom line. Though it has room for improvement, the Photosmart 475 is lightweight, extremely compact, virtually silent, and as versatile as they come.—Arthur Bleich
Small printer. Big image quality.

he Photosmart 475 Compact Photo Printer—HP also calls it the GoGo Photo Printer—can go-go just about anywhere. It’s hard to believe this mini-boom-box look-alike, weighing only 3.3 pounds and smaller than a box of Kleenex, can churn out photo-finishquality prints up to 5 by 7 inches, something most other portable photo printers can’t do—but it can. The Photosmart 475 prints JPEG and TIFF files directly from most popular memory cards (including CompactFlash, Memory Stick, Secure Digital MultiMediaCard, xD-Picture Card, and more), from any PictBridgeenabled digital camera (that’s most of them these days), and even from your iPod—and, of course, your Mac. The printer displays big, clear images on its 2.5-inch LCD and can print bordered or borderless 4-by-6-inch, 5-by-7-inch, and 4-by-12-inch panoramic prints, as well as other esoteric photo sizes, such as 3.9-by-5.8-inch Japanese Hagaki (post) cards. It’ll also grab and output frames from video clips.
COMPANY: HP CONTACT: 888-999-4747, www.hp.com PRICE: $249 REQUIREMENTS: USB, Mac OS 10.1.5 or later

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With 1.5GB of internal memory, it’s easy to transfer and then delete images from your memory cards, freeing the cards for more pictures. It took well over four minutes to transfer 102.7MB—not very speedy, but that was offset by being able to visually verify that our images had transferred before we erased our cards. We also liked plugging the printer into the video input of a big TV screen and viewing our photos as a slide show—when the Photosmart 475 is connected to a TV, you can use the included IR remote to control the slide show, as well as print pictures. Several optional accessories expand the 475’s portability. A rechargeable battery ($79) puts out enough juice for about 75 4-by-6-inch prints, a car battery adapter ($39) lets you take to the road, and a Bluetooth adapter ($59) allows wireless printing from camera phones, PDAs, and other devices—the Bluetooth option won’t work when the printer’s tethered to your Mac, however. Prints a-go-go. We gave the Photosmart 475 a printing workout.

GOOD NEWS: Excellent image quality. Prints 5-by-7-inch photos. Internal image storage. TV interface. Prints direct from popular memory cards, cameras, iPods. BAD NEWS: Premium prints not water resistant. Slow image-to-image viewing. Printing sluggish at Best setting. Images hard to see on LCD when viewed nine-up.

48

August 2006

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50

REVIEWS

better living through smarter shopping

Mercury On-The-Go FW 800+USB 2.0
TRANSPARENT PORTABLE HARD DRIVE
hile Other World Computing’s Mercury On-The-Go FW 800+USB 2.0 hard drive appears to have been separated at birth from LaCie’s silverscreen ( Feb/06, p39), it serves a completely different purpose. The silverscreen is designed for media playback on TVs, while the On-The-Go hard drive is a general-purpose, portable storage device. It’s clear (pun intended) that more than one product designer discovered that a transparent case would look cool. Not necessarily unique, but cool. And we’ll admit, we’re dazzled every time we plug in the drive and watch the front LED light up. The On-The-Go drive we tested had a pair of FireWire 800 ports and a USB 2.0 port; OWC also offers drives with
COMPANY: Other World Computing CONTACT: 800-275-4576, www.macsales.com

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FireWire 400, USB 2.0, or both. The drive comes with a nondescript, but functional, vinyl carrying case to hold the drive, adapter, and cables; it fits neatly in a backpack or book bag. We used Xbench (free, www.xbench .com) to gauge the No metallic speed of the drive over grate design here. FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 on a Dual 2GHz Power Mac G5. On the Sequential Uncached Write test, the On-The-Go drive averaged 35MB per second using FireWire 800, versus 10MB per second with USB 2.0. On the Sequential Uncached Read test, the On-

The-Go drive averaged 41MB per second using FireWire 800, versus 11MB per second with USB 2.0. Clearly, if speed is your priority, you should use FireWire 800—if the Mac you’re using has it. In the current Mac lineup, only the 17-inch MacBook Pro and Power Mac G5s have FireWire 800 ports. The bottom line. For toting around your video projects, music compositions, or just multiple gigabytes of files, this itty-bitty drive with a mega-maxi name does the job well.—Roman Loyola

PRICE: $139.99 (40GB) to $349.99 (160GB, tested) REQUIREMENTS: Mac OS 10.0.3 or later

GOOD NEWS: Nice design. Good FireWire 800 speeds. BAD NEWS: Unimpressive USB speeds.

SyncMaster 940BF
DECENT LCD MONITOR

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hat sets the SyncMaster 940BF apart from most displays is its MagicTune software, which you use to adjust the monitor’s settings, such as brightness, contrast, color tone, gamma, and more. MagicTune works much like the built-in controls of any display, but you get to use your mouse to point and click the options—an easier and more efficient way to navigate and make adjustments, compared to using the buttons on the front bezel (which you can still opt to use instead of the software). The one caveat: For reasons known only to Samsung, MagicTune for the Mac isn’t bundled with the display, and it took some poking around Samsung’s Web site to find it. Fortunately, the software is worth the time spent downloading it.
COMPANY: Samsung CONTACT: 800-726-7864, www.samsung.com PRICE: $499

There’s still a demand for standard-aspectratio 4:3 LCDs.

Software aside, the SyncMaster 940BF has decent overall image quality, despite some slight unevenness in the brightness of the unit we looked at.

Colors in the photos we displayed looked realistic and even, and the SyncMaster 940BF handled DVDs nicely—we saw no noticeable streaking and good colors when watching Lawrence of Arabia. The SyncMaster 940BF has only one VGA and one DVI connector. It doesn’t have a USB hub, which isn’t a bad thing—but for the price, you can’t help wanting a few niceties. You can adjust the angle of the display by tilting it forward or back, but you can’t adjust the height (the SyncMaster 940BF isn’t alone in not allowing height adjustment, but it would be nice if more displays had it). The bottom line. The SyncMaster 940BF is a good display for general use.—Roman Loyola

REQUIREMENTS: DVI video connector

GOOD NEWS: Good controls. Decent image quality. BAD NEWS: Mac software not bundled with display. No height adjustment.

50

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REVIEWS

better living through smarter shopping

ThunderDock
UNDERWHELMING IPOD SPEAKER STAND

W

ith a name like ThunderDock, you’d expect to have to brace yourself for some Earth-shattering sound. But this iPod speaker stand produces very little thunder. The one-piece ThunderDock measures 10 by 4 by 3.25 inches and weighs a light 2.5 pounds (including the external power adapter), making it easy to transport, although no case is included for toting it around. A pair of two-inch speakers (6 watts each) straddle a center dock that can take one of three adapters to give your iPod a nice snug fit (nanos and video iPods will work, but no adapter was included with our unit). Even iPod shuffle owners can get in on the action by using the bundled USB adapter to dock the shuffle. The ThunderDock
COMPANY: Global American Technologies CONTACT: 718-729-4920, www.globalat.com

could really use some stickier feet—it tended to slide when we pressed our ’Pod’s clickwheel. This ThunderDock neither rocks nor rolls. Two touchkicking sand in its face. Highs sag, sensitive buttons and bass totally whimpers despite the control volume, and on the back you’ll vaunted “Thunder Base [sic] Boost” find a stereo jack for connecting other circuitry. This device is loud, although audio devices (a short cable is included). we don’t think you’d want to blast such Syncing our iPod through USB was sad sound for long. problematic at first—the ThunderDock The bottom line. While the didn’t recognize our ’Pod—but after ThunderDock has a few things going for swapping out the bundled USB cable for it, you’d be best off avoiding it due to its a new one, we were able to sync away. dismal sound. Take your cash and look Go figure. for a more capable offering elsewhere. The ThunderDock’s main problem? —Gil Loyola Sound so weak that you’ll feel like
GOOD NEWS: Compact. Compatible with all iPods. BAD NEWS: Slippery feet. Weak sound.

PRICE: $129 REQUIREMENTS: iPod or iPod shuffle

iPod Showcase
Banshee Listening Station iPodCopy iPod Mounting Solutions

The only 5.0 surround system in a single listening station.

Shatter the perceived limitations of audio for your iPod with a massive 50 watts of peak output power. The Banshee’s patented technology produces ultracrisp midranges with deep and powerful bass. Available at RadioShack, select Circuit City stores, Discovery Channel Stores, and Chicago-area Abt Electronics locations.
www.BansheeAudio.com 312-474-6108

Use iPodCopy to extract your music and videos from your iPod straight back to iTunes. Really useful if you loose all your media on your computer following a reformat.
www.wideanglesoftware.com/ ipodcopy/

iPodCopy is a Mac/PC application that lets you retrieve music from your iPod.

Taking your music with you is even easier with ProClip!

ProClip mounting solutions are the best way to mount your iPod in your vehicle. The mount clips on in seconds without interior damage. For details on ProClip mounting solutions for your iPod as well as your other devices, visit:
www.proclipusa.com 800-296-3212

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REVIEWS

53

CyberTablet 8600
DISPLEASING TABLET
he CyberTablet 8600 doesn’t look out of place next to most Macs. But beyond that visual parity, the only reason you’d want the 8600 over a similarly sized Wacom Graphire4 ( Jan/06, p48) is that the 8600 costs half as much. Otherwise, you’ll make some significant sacrifices. Despite trumpeting Mac compatibility on both its Web site and its box, the CyberTablet 8600 clearly doesn’t have Macs in mind. The documentation refers only to Windows; the software bundle is all Windows-only. You must download a Mac OS X driver from Adesso’s Web site. During installation, the driver messed with our OS X security settings, and it took two reboots to fix matters. After installation, we couldn’t find the
COMPANY: Adesso CONTACT: 909-839-2929, www.adesso.com PRICE: $129.99

T

This 8-by-6-inch table doesn’t take Mac compatibility seriously.

tablet’s controls anywhere in System Preferences, and even Spotlight failed to turn up the app—that’s because it had been installed in the Applications folder as the creatively spelled CyperTablet. Even the updated driver (version 1.55 at press time) is a bit buggy. An Adesso rep told us that the company is working on a new driver and updating the documentation. Neither were available at press time. The 8600 has 16 programmable function keys across the top of its active area—and you’ll want to program them, since the defaults don’t work. The

8600’s 8-by-6-inch active-area tablet has 512 levels of pressure sensitivity. Neither the CyberTablet pen nor the two-button, scroll-wheel mouse are particularly ergonomically pleasing, but the pen performed as intended in both Adobe Photoshop CS2 and Illustrator CS2, providing the drawing and retouching precision you can only get from a tablet. The bottom line. If you’re short on funds but long on patience, the CyberTablet will give you pen-point accuracy.—Michael J. Shapiro

REQUIREMENTS: USB, Mac OS X

GOOD NEWS: Affordable compared to other tablets. BAD NEWS: Bundled software isn’t Mac-compatible. Buggy driver. Lackluster mouse.

iPod Showcase
Elite Audio Gear Core Cases iPod Repair

Hardcore hard-case protection for iPod addicts.

6i Isolator Earphones deliver detail, balance, comfort, and value.

The in-ear secure fit reduces background noise so you can listen at safe levels. Hear crisp, clear music inside your head. Great for travel and working out. Available online or at Apple Stores and other retail locations worldwide.
www.etymotic.com

Designed to balance your need for protection and function. The unique hinge-free slider design keeps your nano, nano. Fully padded interior and built-in screen protector protect your ’Pod, while user-friendly cutouts balance the function. Includes a neck lanyard and removable clip. Limited-edition blue is just one of six colors. Save 10% sitewide with IPOD ADDICTS code.
www.corecases.com 866-228-7896

Everyone drops their iPod now and again, but if it breaks, what do you do?

The professionals at iPodMods .com have a solution for you. We offer free diagnostic testing and have what it takes to fix every iPod problem. Get your iPod juiced up and tuned up with the real iPod experts. www.iPodMods.com
888-763-6637

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August 2006 May 2006

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ʻPoof! Three months of work gone because I hit the wrong key.ʼ

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FileSalvage
SubRosaSoft.com

GAMES
COMING SOON

55
because you play as hard as you work

The Crusade’s A-Comin’
Can’t we all get along?

You may already know about some of the features coming in The Burning Crusade, the expansion pack for World of Warcraft: new lands, high-level dungeons, a maximum character level of 70, and a new playable Horde race, the magic-thirsty Blood Elves. Well, Blizzard has released more info about The Burning Crusade. The new Alliance race is the noble, horned, and hoofed
WORLD OF WARCRAFT: THE BURNING CRUSADE

Draenei. Players already at level 60 will love the new tier 3 dungeon sets that now include rings. In the new jewelcrafting profession you can create gems that add bonuses to the new multisocket items. If you’ve got the gold, trek to Outland and buy one of the new winged, controllable mounts so you can find the special areas that can only be explored by air.—Matt Osborn

DEV/PUB: Blizzard, www.blizzard.com AVAILABLE: End of 2006 ■ PRICE: TBD

The Sims 2: Nightlife
SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS SIMS 2 EXPANSION PACK
find a poker game, sing karaoke, or even take over DJ duty at the local disco. You know how you like to call your friends for Friday-night outings? You can do the same in Nightlife using call groups; this lets you quickly phone up a set of people—well, Sims—to hit the town. There are also new social interactions, such as a slow dance and a longing gaze. And now you have chemistry (based on personality and aspiration) with certain Sims, which determines how well your interactions go. All are welcome features that give the game more depth. Dating is a new part of The Sims 2. If you ask a Sim on a date, a timer automatically starts. If you do things that satisfy both you and your date Sim dates are timed minigames. Come to think of it, it’s not (such as getting something to eat, going to particular places, that much different than reality. ightlife, the latest expansion pack to the Sims 2 series, is all about being a social butterfly. It adds a booming downtown area with tons of destinations, including bowling alleys, restaurants, art museums, and nightclubs. There’s plenty to keep you occupied; you can enjoy a long dinner,

N

and so on), you get more time to achieve dream-date status. If the date’s a bust, your escort leaves in a hurry and may end up doing uncouth things such as leaving a flaming bag of poo on your porch. You can even pay a matchmaker to find someone for you to date. One awesome addition: You can now buy yourself a sweet set of wheels. Build a driveway for your car, and head downtown (no more waiting for taxis!) or drive to work. The bottom line. Nightlife doesn’t necessarily add an integral new dimension to the game, but it brings enough fun and substance to the franchise that hardcore Sims fans won’t want to miss it.—Cathy Lu
COMPANY: Aspyr CONTACT: 512-708-8100, www.aspyr.com PRICE: $34.99 REQUIREMENTS: Mac 1.2GHz G4, Mac OS 10.3.9 or later, 256MB RAM, 2GB disk space, full version of The Sims 2 GOOD NEWS: Tons of fun, new going-out locales. Improved social interactions. Cars! BAD NEWS: Doesn’t drastically alter gameplay. A touch sluggish in public areas.

RATED

SOLID
August 2006 55

56

GAMES

because you play as hard as you work

Platypus 1.15
SATISFYING SIDE-SCROLLING SHOOTER
Ah, the side-scrolling shooter. It plays just as it sounds: The game landscape automatically moves to the right as flying enemies appear. All you have to do is shoot ’em while avoiding enemy fire and ships. Such a simple concept, yet it yields such a high amount of satisfaction—and Platypus 1.15 doesn’t disappoint. The story doesn’t really play a factor; this game is simply about ’splodin’ stuff. Your ship, the Platypus, is the sole defender of Mungola, which is under attack from the neighboring country of Collosatropolis. Besides the well-paced action, Playtpus has a nifty look, sort of a cross between cartoon graphics and claymation. Luckily, you can press Escape to pause the game and admire the graphics—often you can’t stop and take a good look around while playing since enemy fire is everywhere. Two players can play at the same time—a fun option. However, it can be awkward for two people to sit side by side at a 17-inch display, one using the keyboard and the other using the mouse. Be sure to shower first. The bottom line. Fire this up for a dose of shoot-em-up action. You brain may not be fully engaged, but your smile muscles will be.—Roman Loyola

COMING SOON

Be Your Own Boss
For years, your Sim left for work, disappeared for a while, and came back home with the bacon. Now it’s time to cast off the shackles, stick it to the man, and go into business for yourself in The Sims 2: Open for Business. In this expansion pack you can create your very own Sim business—anything from a fast-food chain to a toy shop to a clothing boutique to an electronics superstore (selling Mac games, of course) and more. Design and test your products on other Sims, design retail and workshop space, hire and fire employees, pitch big deals, and otherwise develop your Sim’s occupational skills.—MO
Taking the virtual stairs is just too tiring for a Sim.

THE SIMS 2: OPEN FOR BUSINESS

DEV/PUB: Aspyr, www.aspyr.com AVAILABLE: TBD ■ PRICE: TBD

T I P S A N D T R I C KS

RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Soaked! Tips
Use these tips to keep the hordes coming back to your park’s attractions—and contributing to your slushie fund.—MO

■ Building thrill rides will attract guests and increase your park rating, but make sure your maintenance teams keep them running smoothly. Broken rides are no good for anyone. ■ Improve the wait for your guests by training your staff to the third level ASAP and then putting them on your most profitable rides. ■ If your goal is to gain a high park rating, avoid having too many wet activities and rides. Soggy guests are unhappy guests, and that will lower your rating. ■ Get the Giant Slide when you have the cash and max out its levels—a Giant Slide equals giant profi ts.

Mr. Bill’s favorite vacation spot.
COMPANY: Idigicon CONTACT: www.idigicon.com PRICE: $19.99 REQUIREMENTS: Mac OS 10.1 or later GOOD NEWS: Fun. Playful graphics. Two players can play at once. BAD NEWS: You’ll have to get pretty cozy with the second player.

RATED

Wet is fun, but too wet is no fun.

GREAT

56

August 2006

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because inquiring minds have the right to be inspired
other settings after capturing the shot. iPhoto will display RAW-format images without altering the original RAW file; if you edit the image, iPhoto will create a new JPEG version, leaving the original RAW file untouched. selected items to the Source window’s title bar (where it says Source) until a little plus sign appears under the cursor—when you release the files, iTunes will automatically put them in a new playlist.
Once you see the plus sign, release the mouse button for an instant playlist.

HEAD(SET)LESS
Is there a Mac-compatible headset with headphones and a microphone that I can use with iChat or Skype? Your Mac plus iChat AV equals a viable alternative to your telephone, but conversing via your Mac’s built-in mic and speakers gets old fast—and will drive your conversation buddies nuts. A headset will keep your discussions more private and provide better sound quality to boot. Any model that uses standard 1/8-inch audio jacks will work with most Macs, and plenty of newer USB models provide Mac-compatible driver software. Plantronics (www.plantronics.com) sells both varieties, starting at $19.95.

TOOLS RULE
What are my options for making a bootable diagnostic and repair tool for my Mac? These days, the prime repair tool is your Mac OS X system-install disc, which contains a bootable Mac OS X system and Disk Utility for repairing problems in your drive directory and disk permissions. The install disc also provides the napalm bomb of troubleshooting: a clean reinstall of OS X. Another option is to install Mac OS X and your favorite disk utilities onto an external hard drive that you can start up from in an emergency—tune in next month for the Ultimate DIY Disaster Disk How To.

iPhoto processes a JPEG but preserves the original RAW file.

iTUNES TRAUMA
My wrist is burning from dragging songs into iTunes playlists all day long—there’s got to be a better way. Actually, there are four better ways to create playlists in iTunes. Select a gang of songs from your iTunes Library—Shiftclick to select multiple songs in a row or Command-click to select multiple songs that aren’t listed together (for your ABBA and ZZ Top mix). With multiple songs selected, press Command-N or select File > New Playlist From Selection from the menu bar to create a new playlist with all of the selected songs; to add selected songs to an existing playlist, Control-click any selected song and pick Add To Playlist > playlist name from the pop-up menu. And our favorite: Simply drag the group of

iPHOTO ME RAW
Can I use RAW digital photos with iPhoto? As of version 5, iPhoto does indeed support RAW-format photos. If you didn’t know, RAW is the digital equivalent of an undeveloped film negative, in that you need to develop (or process) a print to view it—the benefit being that you can fine-tune exposure, brightness, and

CRACK MOUSE
I bought a fancy new optical mouse, but now my cursor bounces around the screen like Whitney Houston on a binge. Welcome to the future, friend! Optical mice free us from the annoyance of scraping crud off the balls and rollers that drove the computer mice of yesteryear. Optical mice do have an Achilles heel, though—if your mousing

QUIET, MAC!
How can I turn off the annoying crunching paper sound that happens whenever I empty the trash? Open System Preference > Sound and click the Sound Effects tab. Now uncheck the box labeled Play User Interface Sound Effects to mute the trash sound, as well as other trivial interface sounds.
But you’re really not missing much.

WTF, CNN?
What’s up with CNN.com? Its stupid news clips won’t play on my Mac. Sure they will, in a couple of different ways. You can install the Flip4Mac WMV component (free, www.flip4mac.com) to your QuickTime player, or pick up the free, but
60 52 August 2005 2006

discontinued, Windows Media Player for OS X (free, www.mactopia.com).

Trash the trash sound.

DIFFICULTY RATINGS
surface is too shiny or reflective, the mouse’s optical positioning system gets lost, causing your onscreen cursor to stutter, twitch, or fly uncontrollably around the screen. A different mouse pad or a piece of brown cardboard should mellow your mouse.

No whining— anyone can do this!

It’ll take some effort, but you can do it.

This stuff’s for the pros.

HOW TO

61

UNIX UNIVERSITY
WHAT THE HECK IS FSCK, AND DO I NEED A PH.D. TO USE IT?
File System Check, aka fsck, is a Unix utility for repairing file system directories. Basically, it’s a hard drive repair tool, like Disk Utility or DiskWarrior, that works via the Unix command line; fsck checks your directory When disaster strikes, don’t cuss. Call on fsck. and fixes things like incorrect links When fsck is finished, it’ll hopefully display and inode counts. the text, “The volume your Mac’s system The thing about fsck is that you can’t volume appears to be OK.” Otherwise, it’ll use it by firing off commands in Mac OS say, “File system was modified,” indicating X’s Terminal application (/Applications/ that fsck found that something was amiss Utilities)—fsck requires you to reboot and repaired it. In the latter case, type the your Mac to a pure command-line same command to run fsck again, and interface. Restart your Mac and hold keep running it until you get the message down Command-S to start up in Single that your drive appears to be OK. User mode—a black screen with some When you’re done with this commandinformational text, ending with a command line hackery, press Return, type reboot, prompt followed by a cursor. Type and press Return again to restore your /sbin/fsck –fy and press Return to Mac’s friendly graphical desktop. As start the magic; status lines will appear on with most Unix commands, you can view the screen (such as “Checking HFS Plus information about fsck by launching volume”)—some steps take longer than Terminal, typing man fsck, and others, and your Mac’s fans may go into pressing Return. jet-engine mode, but don’t worry about it.

WHO’S ON FIRST
How can I put the current user’s name in the menu bar? That’s a sign of Fast User Switching. Choose System Preferences > Accounts; click the gold lock and enter your password to authenticate your administrator status. Then click the Login Options icon and check the box labeled Enable Fast User Switching.

This puts your name (or icon) in the menu bar.

SOFT WHERE?
I just got my Intel-inside iMac—where’s a master list of compatible software? Applications that have been retuned to run on both PowerPC Macs and new-age Intel-powered Macs are

known as Universal apps. The mighty VersionTracker has spawned a Universal Application Resource Center (www.versiontracker.com/macintel) listing all Universal Binary releases along with links to Intel-Mac-related troubleshooting and news. Check out www.macintouch.com as well.

KEYBOARD MENUS
When navigating fields on a Web page using the Tab key, how can I access dropdown menus without using the mouse? Use the Tab key to select the menu and then use the Up and Down arrows to navigate the menu items. When you reach the item that you want, press Return or Enter.
Look Ma, no mouse!
Buz Zoller is a graphic designer living in Florida. He has been a devoted Mac user for over 10 years and has worked for both Apple and Power Computing. technical questions or helpful tips directly via email (askus@macaddict.com) or c/o MacAddict, 4000 Shoreline Ct., Ste. 400, South San Francisco, CA 94080.

EJECT ME NOT
The kids in my school’s computer lab are getting smart and devious. How do I disable the keyboard Eject key? Believe it or not, you can’t disable the Eject key—you can, however, gouge it out with a fork (the fate of many a Help key). Henceforth, good old Command-E will eject your discs, but to open the disc tray when there’s no disc in it, you’ll have to launch Terminal (/Applications/ Utilities) and type drutil tray eject and press Return to open the tray.

NETWORK GEEKOUT
Can I adjust the speed of my Mac’s Ethernet port? We’re still trying to figure out why you’d need to do that, but it’s possible. Open System Preferences > Network and select Built-In Ethernet from the Show menu, then select the Ethernet tab. Choose Manually (Advanced) from the Configure menu and knock yourself out.
Duplex, Speed, what?

Submit

August 2006

61

62

HOW TO

fix your finder

Fix Your Finder
by Niko Coucouvanis WHAT YOU NEED
Mac OS X 10.4 ($129, www.apple.com) Spotless 1.1 ($9.95, www.fixamac.net) EasyFind 3.8.1 (free, www.devon-technologies.com) Filegazer ($19.95, www.donelleschi.com)

W
1

hen we start mocking Apple’s flagship OS technologies—such as Stoplight—it’s time for a change. Rather than wait for Apple to (hopefully) revamp it in the forthcoming Mac OS 10.5 Leopard, we’ll start by disabling Spotlight entirely, and then we’ll replace it with a ON THE faster file finder. While we’re at it, we’ll DISC Spotless 1.0, EasyFind explore some smarter ways to navigate to 3.9, Filegazer 1.3.1, Path Finder 4.1.1 files on your Mac.

ILLUSTRATION BY ELLIOT SMITH

Spot Selectively

At its core, Spotlight uses the Unix mdutil command—aka the metadata utility—so Unix-savvy users can simply fire off some mdutil commands in the Terminal to bend Spotlight to their will, but what of us mere mortals? Open System Preferences > Spotlight, click the Privacy tab, and click the plus-sign icon to navigate to a drive or directory that you want Spotlight to ignore when it searches—or simply drag items into the window. The downside here is that the privacy settings don’t always stick— especially, in our experience, to external drives. Plus, Spotlight remains active in the background, so its drive-indexing mojo might still get in your way.

If this fix seems too easy, that’s because it is.

Spotlight’s default modus operandi is to automatically index all of your Mac’s drives and volumes, including external devices. Spotlight immediately checks each drive that you mount on the Mac, and if it doesn’t find a content index, it creates one for you, like it or not. We don’t like it. To neuter Spotlight’s indexing for good, fire up Spotless ($9.95, on the Disc or www.fixamac.com) and either use the Master Indexing Control to neuter Spotlight outright, or highlight a volume in the list and use the center row of buttons to enable or disable indexing à la carte—just remember to disable indexing before you click the Delete Entire Index Directory button, or Spotlight will automatically start reindexing the volume again. Say goodnight, Spotlight.

2

Sayonara Spotlight

Remember the good old days of OS 9 when finding things via Command-F just worked? EasyFind is your ticket back. Install the app (free, on the Disc or www.devon-technologies.com) and use it like this. 1. WHERE Pick your poison: Point EasyFind at any volume or directory on the Mac—servers and external drives, too. 2. WHAT Are you looking for a file, a folder, or something inside a file?
62 August 2006

3

Exit to EasyFind
2 3

1 [spotlight3.tif MINI 2-STEP FRANKENSTEIN]
So what if it’s not in the menu bar? EasyFind completely shames Spotlight. 4

5 3. HOW All Words, Case Insensitive, hold the Invisibles! 4. WHEN Sort results by modification date, name, size, kind, or location. 5. WHO Specify file types here (click the light switch to open this drawer).

HOW TO

63

We’re content putting our Applications folder in the Dock for easy access, but you can take that nested-menu convenience to the extreme with Filegazer ($19.95, on the Disc or www.donelleschi.com). Install Filegazer and launch it to set up your menus. Filegazer creates up to seven hot spots on your screen; when you hover your cursor over a hot spot, the Filegazer menu pops up. The left-side and lower-left-corner spots are preconfigured to show your Home directory and startup drive, respectively, and you can set the remaining hot spots to show any volume or directory on your Mac. You can tweak the hot spots, menu formatting, and other settings via Filegazer > Preferences. If your Exposé or Dashboard hot corners interfere with Filegazer, change them in System Preferences > Dashboard & Exposé—you can assign modifier keys (Control, Command, and so on) to Exposé Filegazer is like a cascading contextual menu, with previews as big or to Filegazer. as you like.

4

Gaze upon Ginormous Contextual Menus

Find a Whole New (Path) Finder
WHAT YOU NEED
Mac OS 10.4 ($129, www.apple.com) Path Finder ($34.95, www.cocoatech.com) cocoatech.com) ath Finder ($34.95, on the Disc or www.cocoatech .com) might be overkill if you’re only slightly peeved with the Finder, rather than royally cheesed off at it. Although it looks generally similar to the Mac OS FInder, Path Finder is surprisingly complex and full of features—we’ll show you the important stuff and then let you explore on your own.
Handy breadcrumbstyle navigation. Tabbed windows, Web browser style! (Apple, please take note.) You are here.

P

Active applications are one click away. Drop files on the Drop Stack for temporary holding when you get lost mid drag-and-drop. As with Apple’s Finder Sidebar, you decide what gets listed here. Toggle display of the Terminal window, sidebar, and the Info/ Preview pane, respectively.

Where you’ve been. Proper previews: Path Finder knows that you want to see the page, not its underlying HTML. Plenty of file info up front; click More Info to tweak file permissions, visibility, and creation/ modification dates.

Geek out in the integrated Terminal—or turn it off.

Customize Path Finder’s window layout by clicking on the separators and selecting what to display in the respective sidebar: Volumes, the Shelf, Folder History, Selection Path, Belly up and File Info—whatever you like. pick your
poison for any sidebar.

1 3

Musical Sidebars

Maybe you’d rather preview the source code of an HTML document than see how it’d look rendered in a Web browser. ¡No problema, amigo! Open Path Finder > Preferences, click Preview, check Ignore HTML Commands, and make any other preview tweaks you want.

2

Pick Yer Preview

You get to decide if what you see is what you get.

Cut Short
Give Path Finder dibs on the desktop—and while you’re at it, get a proper Trash can as well.
August 2006 63

Much as we dig interacting with the Mac via Path Finder, we don’t advise nuking your Mac OS Finder outright—if that’s even possible. But you can push it out of the way. Select Path Finder > Show Path Finder Desktop, and the app will quickly rearrange your desktop icons. But more importantly, until you select Path Finder > Hide Path Finder Desktop, clicking the desktop background will bring the Path Finder app forward.
Niko Coucouvanis wants Apple to revamp the Finder so that it’s good enough to make him eat these words.

64

HOW TO

create your own ringtones

Create Your Own Ringtones
by Cathy Lu

Don’t play with your ding-a-ling when you could be rocking real tunes as ringtones.

Rock Your RAZR
■ If you have a phone that supports both MP3 ringtones and Bluetooth syncing—such as the superslick Motorola RAZR—you can create your ringtone entirely in iTunes, then send it directly to the phone.

WHAT YOU NEED
Motorola RAZR V3 or other phone that supports MP3 ringtones and Bluetooth Bluetooth-equipped Mac Music you want to hear every time your phone rings

Go to your iTunes Library and pick the song that you want to play every time your phone rings. Listen to the song and pick out a 10- to 15-second snippet that you want to set as your ringtone. When you find the section you want, note the time at which the snippet starts and ends. Go to File > Get Info, and under the Options pane, check the Start Time and Stop Time boxes, then enter the exact minutes and seconds for both. Don’t see the song’s playhead and running time in iTunes’ display area? Click the circled arrow to switch to playhead view.
We chose a section from the beginning of a song, so our start time was 0:00.

1

Trim the Tune

Once you’ve chosen the part of the song you want, compress it into a phone-friendly size. Go to iTunes > Preferences and click Advanced. Under Importing, select MP3 Encoder from the Import Using menu, then select Custom from the Setting menu. In the resulting dialog, set the Stereo Bit Rate to 64kbps, Sample Rate to 22.050kHz, and Channels to Mono, or whatever you prefer, but keep in mind that you’ll be playing this back through a low-fi phone speaker and that you need to keep the file size small since the phone has just a few megabytes of memory. When you’re done tweaking these settings, click OK to return to the iTunes browser; right-click (or Control-click) the song and select Convert Selection To MP3.

2

Tweak the Settings

Press the arrow to toggle between visual and lessvisual displays.
64 August 2006

Tweak the MP3 Encoder’s options to keep your file size small.

ILLUSTRATION BY SUSAN SYNARSKI

re you tired of reaching for your cell phone every time someone else’s rings? Avoid the in-vain pocket reach by creating a custom ringtone out of your favorite song. Today’s sophisticated phones support real-music ringtones in common formats such as MP3 and WAV. Since most of us have a few hundred (thousand?) MP3s on our Macs, the choices are nearly endless (just remember: personal use only). Here we show you how to make ringtones for two popular cell-phone models: the Motorola RAZR V3 and the Palm Treo 650. We also show you how to find out if your phone is up to ON THE snuff, and give you other options if you’re rockin’ DISC a phone that doesn’t support Bluetooth transfer Audacity 1.2.4b, OnSync 1.13 and/or real-music ringtones.

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MacAddict_August06.indd 1

5/26/06 11:43:21 AM

66

HOW TO

create your own ringtones

Once you convert your clip, locate it in the main iTunes Library. It’ll have the same name as the original song, so to find the correct file, look in the Time column, and locate the shorter one. Go to File > Show Song File; this will open the folder containing your file. Note where it is: You’ll need that info for the next step so you can send your new ringtone to your phone. Now before you forget, go back to the original version of your song, open its Get Info window by selecting the song and pressing Command-I, and uncheck the Start and Stop times. Also revert your encoding settings to the options you usually use. Doing this now will prevent you from having a “D’oh!” moment the next time you rip a CD.

3

Find Your Tune

Now it’s time to transfer the ringtone to your phone using Bluetooth. First make sure that your phone’s Bluetooth is enabled. On the RAZR, go to the Settings menu, select Connection > Bluetooth Link > Setup and make sure that Power is set to On, then select Find Me. On your Mac, go to the Bluetooth menu bar and select Send File (if you don’t have a Bluetooth icon in your menu bar, go to System Preferences > Bluetooth > Settings and enable Show Bluetooth Status In The Menu Bar). Navigate to the ringtone file that you located in step 3 and click Send; hit the Search button to find your phone. When your Mac locates the RAZR, click Send. Accept the file on your RAZR, then wait for it to transfer. When it’s done, click the Store softkey on your phone, then select Apply As Ring Tone. Call yourself to revel in your new ringtone.

4

Send It On Over

Suss your songs’ lengths to figure out which version is the ringtone.

To send the file, find your phone in the Bluetooth device list.

Tune Tones for Treos
■ Palm’s popular Treo 650 smartphone features an MP3 player, yet it can’t play MP3 ringtones. But it can play WAV-formatted ringtones, so all you have to do is convert your music to a WAV file, and presto! You’ve got your own Treo ringtone. Although iTunes is capable of converting files to WAV, we’re going to use the free audio editor Audacity, which provides a little more control.

WHAT YOU NEED
Audacity 1.2.4b (free, http://audacity.sourceforge.net) Palm Treo 650 or other WAV-supporting phone Bluetooth-equipped Mac A tune that doesn’t scream, “I’m annoying!”

Using Audacity, open the song that you want to have as your ringtone (File > Open). Unfortunately, Audacity can’t handle AAC files, so you may have to use iTunes to convert your song to MP3 first. Next you’ll need to pick the snippet of song that you want to turn into your ringtone. To do that, zoom in on the waveform (click the magnifying glass), then click the Play button to listen to your song; note the approximate time your snippet starts and ends. To clip the piece, highlight the area of the song you want to keep and click Play to hear just that section. To tweak the start or end point, hover your cursor over the edge of the selection until it becomes a hand; use the hand to nudge the selection in or out. Click Play again to listen to the snippet, and keep nudging till you’re satisfied. Select Edit > Trim to seal the deal.

1

Crop Your Tune

Using Audacity, you can add fades as well as other effects such as echoes and tempo changes; here’s how to add a fade-out. Highlight the part at the end of your ringtone that you want to fade out and select Effect > Fade Out. You’ll see your waveform thin out at the end. Press Play to make sure that the fade is to your liking. If not, go to Edit > Undo Fade Out and try again.

2

Add a Fade

Add a fade to your selection. Highlight the part of the song you want to signal an incoming call.
66 August 2006

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68

HOW TO

create your own ringtones

Now it’s time to adjust the settings. The WAV format supports uncompressed audio, but here you’ll want to ratchet down the settings in order to keep the file size phone-friendly. Go to Audacity > Preferences; under the File Formats tab, change the Uncompressed Export Format popup menu to WAV (Microsoft 4 Bit IMA ADPCM). You can go for higher quality, but we found that this yielded a goodsized file that didn’t hog too much space on our phone (612KB for a 14second snippet). When you’re done, select File > Export As WAV.
Choose a lowerquality setting for your resulting WAV file.

3

Make a WAV

Now it’s time to transfer your ringtone. We’re going to use Bluetooth, although you could also transfer it via USB. First make sure that your Treo’s Bluetooth is enabled. On the main screen of your Treo, go to Bluetooth and make sure that Bluetooth is set to On and Discoverable is set to Yes. On your Mac, go to the Bluetooth menu bar item (as in step 4, above), and select Send File. When the ringtone is fully downloaded to your phone, go to your Treo’s main screen and select Sounds. Under Tones, you can set your ringtone to be the song you just transferred. Now head to Starbucks and watch everyone stare at you jealously (or disgustedly) the next time your phone rings.
Locate the audio clip you want to send using the Bluetooth Send File function.

4

Transfer Your Tone

Workarounds for Older Phones and Other Oddities
Select your source song here. Mind the length and file size.

Click here to send off your new ringtone for direct download to a cell phone.

Crop to taste in the waveform editor.
Cathy Lu is a former MacAddict editor and current freelancer who spends more time with Microsoft Word than she does with her husband, friends, and cat combined.

PLAN B: Xingtone Ringtone Maker
If you don’t have a Treo 650, RAZR, or any sort of phone that supports MP3 ringtones, you still have a chance. Xingtone Ringtone Maker ($19.95, http://xingtone.com) will let you edit any audio file; it can then format it and upload it to any phone that the program supports. Check http:// xingtone.com/support/phones.php? to see if Xingtone supports your phone. The free trial version lets you create and upload one ringtone.
WHAT ABOUT MY PHONE?

If you’re not sure what type of ringtones your phone supports (if any) or whether transferring via Bluetooth is an option, the best way to find out is to check the manufacturer’s Web site. To avoid the frustration of finding info on last month’s phone on today’s Web site, don’t go in the front way—sneak around the back by searching, say, RAZR V3 and Motorola and ringtone at www.google.com.

Here’s how it works: Crop your ringtone using the Xingtone editor (it works similarly to Audacity, which we discussed above), then click Send to upload it. Xingtone sends your phone a text message containing a link; you can then use your phone’s Web browser to download your ringtone. Xingtone’s Web site provides instructions on how to download and set a ringtone for each phone it supports. We tested it out using a fairly generic Cingular phone, the Samsung SGH-E317. We were able to upload and set our ringtone fairly easily, although the program did crash on us quite a few times during the editing process—Xingtone reps told us that this is a known bug that will be quashed in the next release.

TIP

68

August 2006

70

HOW TO

run Windows safely

Run Windows Safely
by Niko Coucouvanis WHAT YOU NEED
An Intel-based Mac running Windows XP Firefox (free, www.mozilla.com) Ad-Aware Personal (free, www.lavasoft.de) or Spybot Search & Destroy (free, www.spybot.info)

hether you use Apple’s Boot Camp or Parallels Desktop (www.parallels.com), you’ll quickly find that securing Windows isn’t that tough—you just have to be smarter than the average Windows user. Luckily, that’s not difficult. Follow these tips ON THE to keep your Windows experience as smooth, DISC safe, and secure as possible.
Parallels Desktop

W
1

If you load Windows on your MacIntel, battening down the hatches is the first order of business.

Lay Down a Safety Blanket

System Restore is that rare Windows feature that doesn’t just seem like a bug incognito. At regular intervals, or whenever you opt to create a Restore Point, Windows XP saves a snapshot of your system’s configuration. That way, when your printer driver eats your scanner driver, you can easily restore your system back to a time before the drivers clashed. To use System Restore, go to Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore, and follow the directions to create a Restore Point or to restore your driver settings to an earlier time when things still worked.
System Restore is one Windows feature we’d like to see on the Mac.

Windows is the number-one target for malicious hackers, but it takes two to tango. The easiest way to dodge malware and protect yourself online is to avoid the Internet’s three evil P’s: porn, pirated software, and peer-topeer file-sharing networks. But clean living alone can’t protect Windows—see the next step to purge the inevitable malware from your system. Speaking of malware, don’t use Windows’ built-in Internet Explorer browser—download the latest version of Firefox instead (free, www.mozilla.com).
User error is still one of Windows’ biggest bugs—right up there with Internet Explorer.
Finally familiar with Windows, Niko Coucouvanis is starting to understand the herd mentality that bred the OS’s prevalence.

2

Avoid the Three P’s

Adware and spyware are sneaky little apps that creep into your system via email attachments, Web cookies, and other means, looking to annoy you with random pop-up advertisements—or to steal your passwords and other personal information. Protect yourself by installing Ad-Aware Personal (free, www.lavasoft.de) or Spybot Search & Destroy (free, www.spybot.info) and remembering to run it at least once a week. Also remember to update it every time you use it; malware propagates and evolves even faster than knowledge of the Windows security holes it exploits.

3

Eradicate Adware and Spyware

Finally, a visit to the Windows Security Center (Start > Control Panel > Security Center), where you’ll find idiotfriendly settings managers for your Internet apps, Automatic Updates, and the Windows Firewall. Click Internet Options and select the Security tab. Then click the Internet icon and push the Security level slider to the top setting (High). As long as you’re in the Security Center, you should enable Automatic Updates, which updates the Windows OS and its components—no skanky third-party apps. The Windows Firewall is another keeper—but you’ll probably also want to explore the wild and woolly world of Windows antivirus software.

4

Security Demystified

Spybot only found some harmless cookies—this time.
70 August 2006

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tell us how you really feel

LETTERS
Pumped and proud.

ONLY 248,908 SHORT
One day I was bored, so I took out your April issue. Looking at the iPhoto 6 review/strategies thingy (“iLife ’06 Strategies,” p19), I saw a picture of a display with “A Quarter Million?!” photos. As I looked at it more closely, it turned out there were only about 1,092 photos (42 columns times 26 rows), and the scroll bar was showing almost every photo.—Holland Gibson Trust us, Holland, Rik really did stuff his home Mac with 250,000 photos for his testing; we loaded up one of our office Macs with only a mere 1,500 photos specifically for that picture. You certainly have sharp eyes—and way too much free time.—Max

MOVE OVER, JONATHAN IVE!

INK DIFFERENT
I figured at 58 years old it was time to get a second tattoo—the other one is from my U.S. Marine Corps days. I wear them both proudly! —Rod Adams We salute both your passions, Rod—and your devotion to the proper use of adverbs.—Max

hi im Michael hanna and im 12 and I drew the ipods future and I think the staff of Mac addict should see it.

64-BIT GOODNESS
I haven’t read anything about an Intel 64-bit chip—why a 64-bit OS without a 64-bit processor?—Jon Rest assured, Jon, that the soon-to-be-released Core 2 Duo chips that will show up in the soon-to-be-released pro Macs and next-gen MacBook Pros—formerly code-named Conroe for the desktop jobbie and Merom for the laptop whatzis— are, indeed, fully 64-bit thingamadoodles.—Max

BUTT THANKS!
Thanks for all the hard work you guys put into the magazine. It’s saved my butt many times!—John Palisano And thanks to you for the kind words, Mr. Palisano— we work ours off to help save yours.—Max

You’d need 228.94 30-inch Cinema HD Displays to see a quarter-million images in iPhoto.

������������������� �������� ����� ���� ����

I’ve noticed that over time the MacAddict crew has morphed into an all-male lineup. Is there a shortage of girl geeks? Some female

���

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HER NOOBNESS

editors would be great, but if there is a hiring freeze at MacAddict, I suggest that you poll your readers as to who on your staff should get a ��� ������������ �� ��� ���� ����� ���� sex-change operation.�I�vote� � �� ���� �� ��� ��� �� �� � �� ���� for Mark.—Steve���� Ingram �� �� ������������ ��� I have a less-frightening � �� suggestion: Turn to page 9 in this issue and meet our new managing editor, Susie Ochs.—Max
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Survey Says
10% 3% 1%

WHAT MAC-IGNORANT SOFTWARE MIGHT ENTICE YOU TO INSTALL WINDOWS ON YOUR MAC?

���������� IT AIN’T FREE ��� ��������������������������������������������

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Random crazy crap from the CompUSA bargain bin Norton AntiVirus Kazaa Half-Life 2

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Here are the results of our April 2006 survey. Check out www.macaddict.com each month for a new online poll. 372 respondents
78

1% 3%
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59%

Am I the first to notice ����������������������������� that you on your June Disc you called Freeway 4 Pro ��� “Freeware 4 Pro”? Do I win a first-place prize? Am I a first-rate dork for asking? —Fred Good I’m afraid it’s we who are the dorks, Fred. As you might imagine, the good folks at Softpress weren’t too happy with that typo, nor with the Freeway 4 Pro and Express reviews in our Jun/06 issue; read on.—Max
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WRITE TO US!

MacAddict, 4000 Shoreline Court, Ste. 400, South San Francisco, CA 94080 or letters@macaddict.com

FOR CD PROBLEMS: go to www.futureus-inc.com FOR SUBSCRIPTION QUERIES: call (toll-free) 888-771-6222

79

A SECOND OPINION
Perhaps the reviewer just didn’t “get it” in the recent Freeway Pro and Express reviews? He missed important facts, including Pro’s ability to automatically generate validating Strict (X)HTML and compliant CSS, its full Unicode support, and its Universal status. And the “new Markup dialog” came with Freeway 2! With native Photoshop-file support, automatic image slicing and combining, and complete freedom of layout, open-minded pros (veterans or otherwise) don’t find Freeway at all confusing. Also, Freeway Express is not supposed to be templatedriven; it is a real design tool with master pages, high-end layout features, editable graphic text, transparency, and more. Web design is not “templates or programming.” Freeway offers a better way— try it for yourself.—Richard Logan, managing director of Softpress

D’OH!
Recently, I was browsing Wikipedia, and when I went to Steve Jobs’s wiki page I noticed that Steve has a sister named Mona Simpson—which is also the name of Homer Simpson’s estranged mother. Therefore, Steve Jobs must be Homer’s uncle.—Chris Liepold Steve related to Homer? As H.S. once said, “Mmmm… sacrelicious!”—Max

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If you own a ’Book—Power, i, or Mac—you know what a hassle it is to reconnect each and every cable each and every time you place it on your desk. The solution? A quick-attach, quickrelease BookEndz docking station ($159.95 to $299.95, www.bookendzdocks.com). Just write the best caption to the photo below, and BookEndz will award you with a docking station that fits your particular ’Book. Only one entry per contestant.

CLASSY, INDEED
In your “Class of ’76” parody (Shut Down, Jun/06, p80), you clearly mislabeled two pictures. The picture labeled Steve Jobs was obviously an early picture of Jennifer Aniston, and the picture labeled Niko Coucouvanis is clearly an early Tom Hanks. —dRStone

Entry Form
Write a caption for this picture.

CONTESTANT INFORMATION
Full Name: Address: City: Zip: Email or telephone:
Send email entries to contest@macaddict.com with the subject: Dock Contest (Don’t forget to include your address information!) Send snail-mail entries to: Dock Contest, MacAddict magazine, 4000 Shoreline Court, Suite 400; South San Francisco, CA 94080. Deadline for entry: August 31, 2006. Contest results will appear in our Dec/06 issue.
Contest Rules The judges will be MacAddict editors and will base their decision on 33 percent humor, 33 percent originality, and 33 percent creativity. All entries must be received no later than August 31, 2006, with the winner announced around December 2006. By entering this contest, you agree that Future US, Inc. may use your name, likeness, and Web site for promotional purposes without further payment. All prizes will be awarded, and no minimum number of entries is required. If two or more people enter identical winning captions, the entry received fi rst will be awarded the contest prize. Prizes won by minors will be awarded to their parents or legal guardians. Future US, Inc. is not responsible for damages or expenses the winners might incur as a result of this contest or the receipt of a prize, and winners are responsible for income taxes based on the value of the prize received. A list of winners may also be obtained by sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Future US, Inc. c/o MacAddict Contest, 4000 Shoreline Court, Suite 400; South San Francisco, CA 94080. This contest is limited to residents of the United States. No purchase necessary. Void in Arizona, Maryland, Vermont, Puerto Rico, and where prohibited by law.

State:

Might opposites attract?

SEAFOOD DELIGHT
Your “surprise and delight” strikes again! “SeaMonkey: better than brine shrimp.” (What’s New, May/06, p12) Kudos to whomever came up with that one. Not many people know that sea monkeys are brine shrimp; we scientists who feed them to our fish are among the few and proud who appreciate these details. MacAddict’s funny/quirky side gives it a great edge over the competition. I hope I speak for many of your readers when I say that “I come for the articles but stay for the humor.” Keep up the great work!—Joe Ross MacAddict: the only übergeek rag in which you’ll find brine-shrimp jokes.—Max

NOW HEAR THIS!
Here’s a pic of my current iPod project. The sound quality is not as good as that of the new iPod speaker systems—but hey, the new ones really suck as air-raid sirens.—Martin Horejsi I certainly hope you don’t have Slayer’s Reign in Blood on your nano, Marty.—Max

Winner!

Congratulations to Jeff Justice, whose surreal take on a fish’s indecision won him a 500GB WiebeTech SilverSATA II RAID array and PCI host card (value over $800, www.wiebetech.com), and thanks to the 89 of you who riffed on alternate pronunciations of “bass.”

“What am I thinking? Even if I do catch it, I have no ears!”

The industrial-strength iPod Hi-Fi.

MacAddict (ISSN 1088-548X) is published 12 times a year by Future US, Inc., 4000 Shoreline Court, Suite 400, South San Francisco, CA 94080. Periodicals Postage Paid at South San Francisco, CA, and at additional mailing offices. Newsstand distribution is handled by Curtis Circulation Co. Basic subscription rates: one year (12 issues + 12 CD-ROMs) U.S. $39.90, Canada $43.95, U.S. prepaid funds only. Canadian price includes postage and GST 128220688. IPM 0962392. Outside the U.S. and Canada, price is $53.95, U.S. prepaid funds only. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to MacAddict, P.O. Box 5126, Harlan, IA 51593-0626. Future US, Inc. also publishes Maximum PC, PC Gamer, Official Xbox Magazine, PSM, Guitar World, Guitar One, Guitar World Acoustic, Bass Guitar, Guitar Legends, Future Music, Future Snowboarding, Snowboard Journal, Snowboard Trade News, Revolver, and Scrapbook Answers. Entire contents copyright 2006, Future US, Inc.. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited. Future US, Inc. is not affiliated with the companies or products covered in MacAddict. Ride-Along enclosure in the following edition(s): B, C, C1, C2. PRODUCED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Publications Mail Agreement #40043631. Returns: 4960-2 Walker Road, Windsor ON N9A 6J3

Volume 11, Issue 8

August 2006

79

80

SHUT DOWN

don’t let the back page hit you on the way out

More Legal Trouble for Apple
The estate of former MacAddict Reviews Editor Roman Loyola has filed a wrongful-death suit against Apple. Court documents reveal that Roman’s new Nike + iPod Sport Kit (see “Shoeda Thunk It?”, p16) tragically locked into an infinite loop of Ramones tunes, forcing the portly product pundit to run at a blistering pace until his quesadilla-clogged coronary artery burst under the strain. Tommy Ramone was unavailable for comment—as, sadly, were Joey, Dee Dee, and Johnny.

80

August 2006

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