Stories by Tom Negrino

Corral Your E-mail

The blessings of e-mail are many: almost instant communication with family and friends; easy business collaboration; and of course, endless opportunities for workplace humor. The downside is unsolicited commercial e-mail, often known as spam. Almost as soon as you open a new e-mail account, you start receiving unwanted offers for fraudulent business opportunities and steaming hot pornography. This load of spam is on top of your legitimate mail, which, however welcome, adds up quickly.

Resurrected PIM Is Still a Winner

Back in the mid-1990s, Now Software's Now Contact and Now Up-to-Date had bested the majority of their PIM counterparts in features and user loyalty. Suddenly, those programs became unwitting passengers on the product-acquisition roller coaster: Qualcomm Inc. bought Now Software and then immediately lost interest in the products it had acquired. As a result, the QuickContact and QuickDay features, which provided contact and schedule information in the menu bar, broke in Mac OS 8.5 and never got fixed. Worse, Palm Pilot users were left with the execrable Now Synchronize. With the release of Now Up-to-Date & Contact 3.9 by new owner Power On Software Inc., the ride has come full circle-the products aren't substantially different, but Power On has updated them to work with today's Mac OS and to support Palm devices.

Reliable Networked Faxing

Faxing from your computer is straightforward if you're a single user; since all new Macs come with a lite version of Smith Micro's FaxSTF software, you just add a fax modem and you're in business. It would be impractical and wasteful to outfit an entire office with fax modems and individually dedicated phone lines, but until now the only Mac-based products for network faxing were outdated and unsupported. That's why the U.S. debut of Glenwarne Ltd.'s FaxElite networked fax software is such a welcome development; with FaxElite, companies can easily and economically bring faxing to every user's desktop.

Protect Your E-Mail from Prying Eyes

E-mail is about as private as undressing with your curtains open. You may think you're having a private moment, but the reality is quite different. The steamy love letter you sent to your sweetheart, the joke about your manager's new haircut, and the resume you sent to your company's competitor may all have passed under the eyes of your boss, as well as those of the systems supervisor and a few other unintended recipients. The fact is, thanks to modern technology and the approval of the courts, your employer can easily-and legally-keep tabs on everything that passes through your e-mail out-box at work. It's also not especially difficult for a hacker, your ISP's mail administrator, or a coworker to intercept and read your e-mail. Thankfully, you can shield private messages from public scrutiny. With some security know-how and our e-mail tips, you can fight off the Big Brothers of the world.

Internet Explorer 5: The Best Browser, Hands Down

Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer 5 is not only the best Web browser ever released for the Macintosh, but also arguably the best Web browser ever released for any computing platform. Built for speed and compliant with Internet standards, IE 5 strikes an excellent balance between users' needs and developers' desires. Thanks to performance far superior to that of the aging Netscape Communications Corp.'s Navigator 4.X, there's no compelling reason not to download the new version.

The Macworld Web Searcher's Companion

The best thing about the Web is that it contains just about anything you'd ever want to find. The worst thing about the Web is that sometimes it's almost impossible to find what you want. The bigger the Internet gets, the more difficult it is to focus in on what you're looking for among its 800 million Web pages -- and the more important it is that you learn how to search the Web effectively.

Dreamweaver 3

Web editing tools have to walk a fine line between designers who don't want to get bogged down by HTML and programmers who want the kind of control only code-hacking can provide. Dreamweaver 3 finally calls a truce between these two sides.

Outlook Express 5.0

The challenge for any e-mail program is to smoothly handle the torrent of e-mail that advanced users receive without drowning casual users in needless complexity. Outlook Express (OE) 5.0, Microsoft's free e-mail and Usenet news program, delivers on both accounts. OE 5 has the features you'd expect from a modern e-mail client, such as HTML-formatted mail, IMAP support, and a fast and flexible Find facility, but it also adds plenty of niceties that make e-mailing easy. For example, you can read and scroll through the Inbox using only your spacebar.

Product Review: Macromedia dreams up impressive update

Past versions of Macromedia's Web authoring product, Dreamweaver, were solid but hard to love, with a clunky interface that discouraged the exploration that allows mere users to become wizards. But with a new emphasis on usability, added to new cutting-edge features, Dreamweaver 2 promises to delight both designers and code geeks