column was the first of the Busman's Holiday
series. It was prompted by a self-imposed
from my regular column at MacTimes. I did what used
to be known as "taking a busman's holiday." Like
postmen taking a walk on their day off, some bus
drivers used to be known for riding busses on their
vacations. I posted this independent
column/editorial/rant while on "my
This column was the first of the Busman's Holiday series. It was prompted by a self-imposed "leave" from my regular column at MacTimes. I did what used to be known as "taking a busman's holiday." Like postmen taking a walk on their day off, some bus drivers used to be known for riding busses on their vacations. I posted this independent column/editorial/rant while on "my leave."
Several years ago, I registered a security program called Prophylaxis Plus. Written by the then 13 year-old Trevden Sherzell and rated 4 mice by MacUser, it provided good security, short of a startup disk invasion, for my LCIII at school. It was just $5, and the name was perfect! (The name didn't show on the startup splash screen...but I knew.) Somewhere along the line, Prophylaxis Plus (76K) appeared to break with a new system, machine, or conflict, and I went on to other security programs when needed. I also lost contact with its author.
Several weeks ago, reader Lee Selvog sent a tip on a shareware by an Eden Sherry. It turns out that in 1994, Eden was putting out his shareware under the "handle" Trevden Sherzell! The better news was that Prophylaxis Plus does still work with system 8 and 8.1. Why it appeared to break, neither Eden nor I know. According to Eden, I wasn't the only one to have the problem. The original version, rereleased in 1997, works just fine on my G3 minitower and System 8.1.
Eden is now a junior at Cornell majoring in Psychology. He has several other sharewares to his credit including a system 8 compatibility revision of Snap-To and his new offering, Scrollability. Eden also says that Prophylaxis Plus, Snap-To, and Scrollability have all been tested and are all compatible with Apple's coming System 8.5.
Eden's web bio says,
I spent most of the last two weekends putting together the columns "Free Em@iler" and "Conspiracy Theory." Smack dab in the middle of the first of two Sunday efforts, I spotted an update for Graphic Converter. Like Jerry's compulsion to purchase "Catcher in the Rye" in the movie Conspiracy Theory, I seem to have a compulsion to immediately download every new GraphicConverter update I see. I'm rarely disappointed.
I really don't know GraphicConverter's author, Thorsten Lemke, but the man needs to get a life. He produces more quality updates than any other shareware author I know. Each update offers something(s) to justify the version number increase. He must live in front of his monitor.
If you're unfamiliar with GraphicConverter, it will open, convert to or from, most graphic file formats. A recent update added a browser that previews the graphic content in a folder--as viewable sizes. There are many, many features to this shareware which has made it the Mac standard it deserves to be. The funny thing about it is that once you pay the fee, that's it. There have been no fees for updates for added features or when OS changes break the features (rare). He just cranks out another free update, each time with fixes and more features.
As I was finishing up this column, another update appeared, just two weeks after the first.
Going back to gabbing about security, I'm a sucker for programs that support worthy causes. At various times,I have used CompuLoc as my password/security program at school. While vulnerable to shift-key, extensions disabled start-ups, the registration fee goes to the Salt Lake City, Utah, Ronald McDonald House. With the addition of Marc Mennigmann's Shift Key Suite, it's as tight a security as Prophylaxis Plus or any other program short of one of the heavy duty security programs. The great part of CompuLoc is its sounds. If you type in the correct password, you hear Captain Kirk saying, "Welcome Aboard." Darth Vader's voice greets those fatfingered individuals who enter a wrong password with, "Don't fail me again." Mess up the password 4 times, and Porky Pig greets you with, "Th...th...th...that's all folks," before CompuLoc shuts down the computer with an assortment of rude default sounds. You can even add your own sound files. I'd love to give you a direct link to this one, but I can't find any. I suspect that the use of copyrighted sounds may have made things hot for the author(s). But if you're an AOL member, it is still available there.
In the Ten Back-to-School Sharewares column (8/24/98), I listed Brett Helbig's excellent word search creator, Word Find. Since then Word Find has gone to version 1.5, now supporting drag and drop, among other improvements. It's the first update in 3 years! But then, the previous version still worked well. Brett continues to supply Word Find as freeware.
Feedback from "Conspiracy Theory" seems consistently in agreement with reader Joe Maia's and my conjecture. I'd left Joe's name out of the article as my deadline came and went. Those that didn't see it that way basically said forget Emailer! And...I did omit a "fairly successful" email client, Eudora Pro (oops!).
Here are some of the other responses from readers.
The Public Access Software petition drive closed to signatures last Friday. Totals are posted on their site, with the petition going to Apple yesterday or today. I suspect this is the last we will hear of Emailer.
I was hired at the beginning of August, 1998, to write a paid weekly column for MacTimes. I wrote the columns, submitted them on time, and they were published. I didn't get paid.
So...I went "on leave" until things were resolved.They were, and I'm back cranking out my weekly column for MacTimes.
I realize this week's offering doesn't sound or look much like my regular offerings. But since my publisher has given me a golden opportunity to "step out," I decided to do it my way. Notice that the default type size similar to 14 point. It's actually 12 point Verdana, a large Microsoft font. Webmasters are universally youngsters with fairly good eyes. They are far too wise to listen to we mere readers who would like to be able to browse and read without squinting, or copying the text and modifying it to a larger size, or changing our browser's default size. I suspect that many commercial websites lose repeat business by the silliness of using a standard 12 point Times typeface.
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reposted to the new MATH DITTOS 2 site 6/18/2000