January 23
Extensis posted Suitcase 8.2, which now includes the Suitcase 8 MenuFonts 8.2.1 updater in addition to the application update. As with all Extensis products, you can get a fresh package if you’re a registered user, or if you’d like to try it, you can get a free 30-day trial. Suitcase 8 is what I use to manage my massive font collection, but Font Reserve is a tool that I plan to try again soon.

In a strange twist, it’s my cable modem that gives me Internet access on this icy Sunday morning in Atlanta. We had an ice storm last night and our phones are down. It’s our trusty phone lines that I use as a backup for times when the cable modem isn't working. I must give Total Web some credit—the Internet service I receive through my cable service has been even more reliable than my MindSpring service (not to mention up to 50 times faster).

Strider Software posted a 3.5.8 update for TypeStyler. TypeStyler is a tool for quickly creating whizbang typographic effects and binding type to a bezier path. A demo is available.

Casady & Greene posted an Aqua skin for SoundJam MP and then took the skin down at Apple’s request. For those who don’t know, Aqua is the developer code name for the interface in Apple’s next-generation operating system, Mac OS X. I'm a little smaller than Casady & Greene, so maybe I can get away with offering the skin to you. Email me and I’ll send you the cool skin. See a QuickTime movie of this, as Steve Jobs calls it, “lickable” skin.

Since Apple’s not going to attend the Seybold Boston event, it looks like Macworld Tokyo (February 16-19) is the next likely event in which Apple may announce new hardware. Goodness knows, Mac users all over the world are shivering in their boots to hear about the next PowerBooks, iMacs and Power Macintosh G4s.


January 17
Ars Technica published a very under-the-hood look at Mac OS X. Grab a cup of coffee and check it out.


January 6
I was wrong about all of my hardware predicitons and about the Apple corporate rebranding. This means that I was only correct about Microsoft Internet Explorer 5. I hope Apple announces new iron at Seybold Boston or an Apple Media Event in February.

Actually, I wasn’t accurate with any of my predictions, because I expected Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 to not only be announced yesterday but to also be released. After reading reports on Internet Explorer 5, it looks as though the Macintosh Business Unit has done an outstanding job with its new Web browser. Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 is supposed to ship by the end of February.

Here are the top 5 features of Internet Explorer 5 that I’m looking forward to most:

  1. Real support for common new Web standards and a little support for emerging standards.
  2. Faster Web page rendering (Microsoft claims speed gains of up to 50 percent).
  3. A new keyboard shortcut (Command-Tab) for cycling through open windows.
  4. A new keyboard shortcut (Tab) for selecting hyperlinks.
  5. The new look of the interface, which matches the 5 iMac themes.
  6. Full-screen (kiosk) mode, which is already available in the Windows version.

One feature that I don’t care for one iota is the new Auction Manager. “Guess what, Earl! Microsoft made it easier for me to get new junk!” Another feature I don't care for is the new media player on the toolbar. Thankfully, it looks as though we end users can hide it if we wish.

A new feature that perplexes me is the default display resolution of 96 pixels per inch (ppi). The default Mac OS resolution is 72 ppi, so I don’t understand what this means for how Web pages are going to look. Are Web pages going to look smaller with Internet Explorer 5? We’ll see.


January 1, 2000
Happy New Year, fellow Mac creatives!

It’s going to be one very hot year for the world of Macintosh! We, The Mac Faithful, will make the transition to a truly modern operating system, Mac OS X (pronounced “ten”), which will take maximum advantage of Apple’s new multiple-processor Power Macs. Avie Tevanian, Steve Jobs and the rest of Apple’s topflight engineering muscle will deliver. There is no one else on the planet who knows more than Avadis Tevanian when it comes to building an operating system.

One reason I expect 2000 to be so hot for Mac users is that 1999 itself was hot. There were so many product announcements, so many upgrades, updates and so much other evidence of vigorous developer commitment to the Mac platform. I think 1998 was about Apple’s getting its burners hot again, 1999 was about letting the whole computing industry feel Apple’s creative heat and 2000 will be about Apple’s igniting its afterburners.

On Wednesday, January 5, at noon eastern standard time, Steve Jobs will deliver the keynote address at Macworld San Francisco. You may be able to watch the address live via QuickTime. Expect important product announcements from both Apple and other developers. Products that will be announced and/or demonstrated at Macworld San Francisco can be found at The Macintosh News Network.

Of course, many developers keep their soon-to-be-released products a secret until a formal announcement is made at huge trade shows like Macworld. If you follow AppleInsider (and its bulletin board), Mac OS Rumors and other Mac-centric sites, you’re aware of the many and wide-ranging predictions for such Macworld announcements. Here are my predictions, listed in descending order of the confidence I have in each. Check back late Wednesday or Thursday to see how close I am.

  1. Faster, redesigned PowerBook (described by the code name “Pismo”).
  2. Minor corporate identity changes for Apple (logo colors, official company name shortened).
  3. Microsoft Internet Explorer 5, which I expect to be a fantastic browser.
  4. Macromedia FreeHand 9.
  5. Multiple-processor Power Macintosh G4s with Ultra160 SCSI as a build-to-order option.
  6. Slight iBook revision, more standard RAM and additional colors and/or DVD build-to-order option.

If you have TypeStyler 3.x, you’ll want the 3.5.7 updater, which provides some 25 fixes and enhancements, according to the updater’s release notes.