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If you haven't visited any Macintosh-related sites on the World Wide Web recently, you're in for a surprise. Plenty of good, entertaining sites focus on the Mac.
Mac Makers Online
-Apple Computer (www.apple.com)
HIGHLIGHTS: You can download a QuickTime movie of the famous "1984" commercial;
-Power Computing (www.powercc.com)
HIGHLIGHTS: Former Mac clone designer. Still selling macs until 12/31/97(act fast great prices).
-DayStar Digital (www.daystar.com)
HIGHLIGHTS: Maintains an up-to-date release schedule for 48 Mac applications optimized to use DayStar's multiprocessing API.
-Umax Computer (www.supermac.com)
HIGHLIGHTS: The only surviving mac clone maker.
HIGHLIGHTS: Great multi-processor Macs.
Mac Software Developers
Gibbs and Associates (www.gibbsnc.com)
HIGHLIGHTS:Desighners of CAD/CAM/CAE Software. Solid Surfacer allows drawing in 3D shapes.
Software available for MacOS, WinNT, Win95 and DOS.
Get Help: Online Tech Support
The motto of the Macintosh News Network (www.macnn.com) is "the news . . . plain and simple,"
The Conflict List
When conflicts arise, try resolving them with a visit to the Complete Conflict Compendium Web page (www.quillserv.com/www/c3/c3.html). The site tracks potential conflicts between application extensions so you can report them correctly to your Mac vendor's tech-support line or figure out how to fix them yourself.
As you reach the limits of your hard drive's capacity, you may wonder what you can safely trash. Find out at the Mac Pruning Pages (www.AmbrosiaSW.com/DEF/), "the indispensable guide to what's dispensable on your Mac." The detailed descriptions of control panels, extensions, and groups of OS items help you determine what you need and what you don't.
The Newest Version
Make sure you have the most up-to-date version of your software by pointing your browser to the Version Tracker Web site (www.versiontracker.com). The latest version numbers of software programs, drivers, and utilities are listed in order by the day the developers posted them; click on the version number for a link to the appropriate Web site for downloading.
Got a problem? Then head over to Ted Landau's MacFixit Web page (www.macfixit.com) for the solution, whether it relates to system software, MPEG, or PowerBooks. The site has an archive (arranged by month), a library of freeware and shareware, and reports categorized by topic.
Join the Club: Mac Community Outreach
The Ultimate Macintosh (www.freepress.com/myee/umac.html), Macintosh Web Resources from "The Rest of Us" (www.ralentz.com/old/mac/net/net-rest-of-us.html), The Well Connected Mac (www.macfaq.com), or Everything Macintosh (www.everythingmac.com).
The Happy Mac Web site (macexpert.com/HappyMac/) gives us something we could all use more of: good news about the Mac. Like many sites, it offers lots of software for downloading. It also has links to some early screen shots of Rhapsody; new Apple ad campaigns; and--a link to information on Gus, an Apple IIgs emulation program for the Power Mac.
Find the Users
If you want to go to the pumping heart of Macintosh passion, there's no better destination than a user group meeting. The User Group Connection's Web site (www.ugconnection.org) lets you find local user groups and their Web sites, tells you how to start your own user group, and gives you links to vendors who are offering special marketing deals to members. (Oh, and PC user groups are here, too.)
Get the News: Where to Hear the Latest Scoop
Want to know Apple's plans for the PowerBook? Turn to O'Grady's PowerPage (www.ogrady.com/default.html), where Jason D. O'Grady provides the latest news on the portable Macs, as well as a PowerBook FAQ department, sneak previews of upcoming models, and a fun (but not terribly useful) list of celebrities who use PowerBooks. You can also post an ad to sell your PowerBook.
Tips and Rumors
Mac OS Rumors (rumors.netexpress.net) is a one-stop shop for good tech tips, software updates, and a side dish of Mac OS gossip.
Ride the Curl
MacSurfer's Headline News (www.macsurfer.com/news/) is for serious news junkies. You'll find links to 77 Apple- and Mac-specific news Web sites, along with sites offering the latest on technology and general-interest news coverage.
(www.macworld.com/) is One of the best sources on the Web for breaking news regarding Apple and the Mac. The magazine's news department posts stories daily to keep readers up-to-date.
News Junkies' Joy
More than any other site, Webintosh (www.webintosh.com) resembles the front page of a traditional newsmagazine, with news, reviews, first looks, opinion pieces, and features, all relating to Macintosh systems, software, and peripherals. Best of all, it's updated almost hourly.
Get a Life: Mac Sites Just for Fun
Steve Tannehill's Power Macintosh Resource Page (www.powermacintosh.com/pmr/macfun.shtml) dispenses Apple-related anecdotes, humor, and jokes. Sample: the Top Ten Macintosh Summer Olympic Events include the 15-meter Power Mac toss, the Open Transport configuration pentathlon, the Netscape 2.0 memory-requirements high jump, and the 100-meter freestyle Apple executive shuffle.
Some people just have too much time on their hands. I would guess that applies to Daniel Fanton, who's compiled the Apple Easter Egg Web Page (members.aol.com/ixist/apple.html), a compilation of the "secrets stuffed inside of your Macintosh or Newton by Apple programmers and engineers." Here's an example: hold down the option key when getting info on the AppleVision setup software (which comes with the AppleVision 1710 AV Display). Instead of a monitor icon, you'll see a hammerhead shark playing a tuba. Why? The code name for Apple's 1710AV monitor was Hammerhead and the code name for the 1710AV display was Sousa (go figure).
Bigotry at Its Best
Only evangelist Guy Kawasaki could be this brash and bigoted and get away with it. But it's fun: Why Macintosh? (www2.apple.com/whymac/) lists, among other things, pro-Mac propaganda, including a list of the 1899 hardware and software products that are available only for the Mac. It also tells how you can join Kawasaki's Internet mailing list and blast journalists who don't understand Apple.
Save Money: Shareware and Comparison Shopping
Lost and Found
The American Computer Exchange posts prices of used Macs and PCs (www.amcoex.com). When it's time to buy or sell a used Mac, you can download its handy used-Mac price calculator. More important, it's recently added a valuable public service: a database of stolen-computer serial numbers. You can go online and add your missing Mac's number to the database. Ideally, when a law-enforcement agency recovers a stolen computer, it will access the database and return the computer to its rightful owner. You can register any computer peripheral with a serial number as well.
If you want to get the best price for memory, log on to the Mac Resource Page's RAMWatch (www.macresource.pair.com/mrp/ramwatch.shtml). Ten memory dealers pay a monthly fee to participate in this Mac-specific page, listing prices for 72-pin SIMMs, 168-pin DIMMS, 3.3V EDO DIMMs, PowerBook memory, VRAM, and L2 cache. The prices listed have been updated within the last seven days, and the differences between them can be substantial--they can vary by about $1 per megabyte.
Imagine being able to comparison-shop across the breadth of North America from your Mac. ComputerESP (www.uvision.com) tracks prices from major computer stores in the United States and Canada and updates more than 80,000 prices on computers, software, memory, processors, and multimedia peripherals a day. And that's just the hardware. There are also 18 categories of software, along with sources for training and computer supplies. On a recent visit, I found 27 retailers selling Microtek's ScanMaker 35T, with prices anywhere from $700.48 to $857.42. Best of all, for each retailer the site gives you the location, the phone number, and the product's price and availability, plus a link to the retailer's Web page. For savvy consumers, Web sites don't get much better than this.
Imagine a cyberspace flea market, and you've got Todd Frazier's amazing Mac-centric shareware page (www.macshare.com), a treasure chest for games, graphics, Internet and productivity tools, system enhancements, utilities, and tips. Check out this site before you go shopping for a new software application; more often than not you'll find that a $15 shareware program is all you need.
Ethics dictate that we tell you right off that the Web Shopper page (www.webshopper.com) is a division of our parent company, IDG. Still, it's a great place to do research before you shop. What makes this site unique is that when you select a product category, you'll be linked to a page that not only gives you information about that category, but also offers links to previously published reviews.
Stay Current: The Latest Technology
The much-hyped virtual-reality technology for the Web gets the once-over at developer Richard Kapuaala's page, Kahuna's 3D Worlds (www.kahunanui.com/vrreview.htm). Check out the 3-D demos and get a solid explanation of what's behind VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) coding. Download the 3-D browser and try your hand at the virtual-reality games. You can also download LivePicture's RealSpace Viewer from here.
Put down the coffee, because Esther Etherington's JavaMan page (www.javaman.com) will give you a buzz with its information and links to all things Java: job listings, bug lists, training, announcements, event listings, a conference area, a guide to consultants, and more. But why are there Java user groups and support groups?
No Apple technology has been more widely accepted into the technology marketplace than FireWire, already appearing on PCs and soon to appear on Macs. As the eventual successor to SCSI, it'll transfer data from peripherals such as scanners and digital cameras into your Macintosh at 400 megabits per second. Everything you want to know about the new interface is at the FireWire Web page (www.firewire.org), including links to the more than 100 companies that have committed to supporting it (including Apple, Intel, Kodak, and Microsoft).
Apple has posted a helpful page about Rhapsody (www.macos.apple.com/macos/releases/rhapsody/), its next-generation operating system due in 1998. The nuts and bolts of Rhapsody are covered, along with details about Apple's product strategy, an architectural diagram, and information about Java integration.
Telecommunications consultant John Navas has created a useful public-service site (www.aimnet.com/~jnavas/modem/faq.html) about modems, with information on the new 56-Kbps models, modem FAQs, news, and links to Usenet newsgroups. Though Navas doesn't offer technical support (a wise move), his site includes troubleshooting tips, general Q&As (like what the heck is a UART?), information about advanced technologies (such as ADSL, SDSL, HDSL, and cable modems), and more. Navas recently added a feature listing his picks for best modems in several categories: best for fax, best for data, best PC Card modem, and best for downloading.